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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 24, 2010 1:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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>> tv. tim naftali, thanks for joining us on our set. what's the importance of a book festival like this in the world of, the literary world? >> guest: first of all, peter, it's a pleasure to be here. first of all, it's proof that you can have a good literary
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discussion in good weather. the second is that this is an opportunity for people to listen to authors talk about their books, talk about the ideas that inform their books and respond to questions. you know, when you write a book, you're not sure who's going to read it. you put a book out there, and it move ofs around and goes to public libraries, some people buy it, so this is not a one-way street here. this is not just authors talking at people, it's people who have read their books asking them questions and sharing their stories and explaining how their books, what their books meant to them. so it's a love fest. >> host: well, as a presidential historian i want to ask about a couple of recent books that have come out and get your take. david rem nick's is writing a
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new biography out of this world, about barack obama. are these important books and what do they add to the lexicon of knowing more about president obama? >> guest: well, you know, history proceeds in stations, and there's a first cut of history. and that first cut of history, well, this book will fall in that category, remnick's book falls in that category, bob woodward's book on george w. fell in that category. they give you a sense of what people were thinking and how people first reacted to the issue or the person in the case of barack obama. the second thing is they're talking to people who are in the game still. so the memories are fresh, they're fresher, there's, of course, some spin, but there's always spin. so there are real advantages for
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readers to reading the first cut. they just have to keep in mind it's the first cut of history. we're going to learn more later, and we may change our mind. >> host: speaking of that, we want to get the numbers on the screen. we only have 30 minutes with tim naftali are. 202-585-3885 if you live in the east or central time zones, go ahead and dial in now, and the mountain and pacific, 202-585-3884. by the way, if you want to send a tweet, we'll be looking for your tweets as well as we go on throughout the day. jeff she is l has a new book out on fdr. dave prize ya has a new book on calvin coolidge. there was a recent best seller about james k. polk. what can we learn this far down, and is there anything else to learn about fdr or --
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>> guest: oh, my gosh. well, first of all, again, every generation reacquaints itself with the towering figures in american history. it's very important, i think, to go back to fdr because we are living through an economic downturn. a lot of -- we are also watching the federal government participate and drive stimulus packages, take over banks briefly, take over gm briefly, and, of course, now we have a new -- we have health care reform. a lot of people are asking when did the welfare state start, has it been a success, did it end the great depression as opposed to the great recession that we're in today? so there's renewed interest. there's also, obviously, a political side to it over the size of goth. so peek -- government. so people are going to have
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their cut on which way it should go, so we go back to fdr or to calvin coolidge. nobody talks about hoover anymore, but it's coolidge versus roosevelt, who was right in dealing with the economy? so it's rather exciting to watch today's debate being played out in historical biography. >> host: tim naftali is our guest. here are a couple of his recent books. "blind spot: the secret history of american counterterrorism" and he's written a biography about a one-term president, george h.w. bush. is it important to be a two-term president to be successful? >> guest: i think it's unfortunately true that presidents believe they have to be reelected for them to have had a successful presidency. james k. polk came into office and said i'm going to achieve the following things, and i'm staying only four years. he won the war against mexico, he changed our northern border
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with canada, he achieved what he intended to achieve, and then he left office. a very successful president. i argued in the bush book that if george h.w. bush had decided not to run for re-election in '92, his reputation would have been much higher. because his achievements in his first term were, particularly in foreign policy and also what he did about the budget deficit, you know, people forget that the reason we were able to overcome the reagan budget deficit was that two presidents, one from the republican party and one from the democratic party, worked together over two terms -- i'm talking about bush and clinton -- to raise taxes judiciously and cut government spending. that's how we cut the deficit. to george bush, had he decided not to run for another term, i . i believe over time his reputation will continue to increase and be more popular. >> host: and one final question before we go to calls, three winners of the pulitzer this
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year for nonfiction. you have david hoffman, "dead hand." you have t.j. stiles on his bioon vanderbilt, and you have lea writing about the lords of finance. do we learn history again through current events? because all of them deal with history in a sense but at the same time all very current. >> guest: i think anyone who's a teacher understands that there is a challenge in a web world of getting people's attention. how do you get -- and particularly, you know, young people. they're the future, obviously. how do you get people's attention? well, if there's a current event that is a sering, traumatic, explosive, important event, you can get people to understand the past a little bit better because you say, you know what? it's like that. analogies are not perfect, but at least you've got a little hook on which you can hang the past. that's why you find that major
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momentous moments in american history don't just produce histories of that period, but also retrospective looks at the past to look for analogies and parallels. >> host: paris call for tim -- first call for tim comes from new york city. go ahead, new york. >> caller: yeah, mr. and a nafti have a problem. i love reading history and have done it for a number of years. i'm reading a book by a very famous american historian who goes through the period of 1932 to 1972. i hope i'm not giving it away, but going through the book i find that there are some glaring statements about fact, and i've tried to look, get verification through the internet. my first -- >> host: what's the name of the book? >> caller: it's a problem with the facts, and now i see that i can't -- in my mind, he's made
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the mistakes. in general when someone who reads history sees this, what is the reader supposed to make of this? >> guest: well, a couple of things. first of all, you should look to this historian's footnotes. because if there are statements of fact in the book, generally speaking you're going to find a footnote. and that's where you would look. you'd go to your public library. if the book -- generally, you'd go to the public library if you didn't want to buy the book yourself and check. that's the first thing you do. the second thing i want you to keep in mind is the, we all love the web, but there's no filter. not that there should be a filter, but you should be careful about using the web to contradict a scholar's work. again, scholars make mistakes, but i say take them at their word, first of all, go to the source they cite, check that
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site. if it's that important to you, and then if you find there's something wrong with their interpretation, well, you have a case. >> host: amherst, new york, good afternoon. >> caller: yes, good afternoon, peter and tim. yes. am i going to have a chance for two short questions or do you just want my best one? >> host: please go ahead with your two questions, sir. >> caller: okay. we'll take them one at a time. tim, i submit newt gingrich made president bill clinton, in my mind, a great president. would you agree with that? >> host: and just go ahead with your second question, caller. >> caller: okay, very good. okay. during the '08 campaign for president, i wrote, i had a big concern, and i called in to c-span constantly every 30 days asking for barack obama to give his opinion about what he might do or not do about slave reparations, and it wasn't just about that, it was what he was going to basically get to the
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heart of the matter, what he would do for the black folks in this country who we all knew had big problems and continue to have big problems today. right now everybody and their brother in the liberal media is calling white folks who disagree with the president a racist. i'll submit to you if he doesn't put a stop to that or address that, he's a one-term president. would you agree with me on that? thank you. >> host: newt gingrich and bill clinton. >> guest: thank you for your questions, caller. i know a lot more about the relationship between newt gingrich and george h.w. bush. and george h.w. bush had to negotiate a bipartisan budget agreement. newt gingrich was part of the negotiations, and at the last moment when president bush was going to announce this agreement, newt gingrich, who was in the oval office with him, did not walk out to the rose
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garden to be photographed next to the president, and the next day attacked president bush for his budgetary policy. i would have to argue that in that instance newt gingrich was not part of the solution, but part of the problem because he wasn't helping president bush deal with budget deficits. the second question i'm not really sure about the connection. what i would like to mention is fiery rhetoric. i, i think that we are in a period of time, and it's not the first time in american history. the 19th century had several of these episodes. when people use very inflammatory rhetoric to express their disagreement, let's just disagree on policy. let's not disagree on personalities. so i think, my sense of your second question is the more we move away from fiery rhetoric, the better our government will function, and the better we'll
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feel about our government. >> host: next call for presidential historian it'll naftali comes from boulder, colorado. boulder, please go ahead. we are going to move on, folks. boulder is not there, so let's go to riverside, california, about 60 miles from where we sit now. riverside, you are on with tim naftali. >> caller: right. riverside is really building up. i was wondering, president kennedy i was listening to a preview about letters to jackie after his death. why, why do you think he came off as being so popular and it's just a shame that somebody had to take his life that, you know, there's always somebody there when somebody has progressive ideas that has to stop these people. our world would be a better place if they'd stay out of the scene, but i'd like your opinion on why he captivated people all over the world. thank you very much and god bless.
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>> guest: thank you very much, it's a great question. and i have to say i'm working my next presidential book will be about john f. kennedy. i think kennedy represented an entire generation of americans who were first lieutenants in world war ii. the country, you know, we call them the greatest generation now or we have in the last ten years. that whole generation was coming into its own in the 1960s. john kennedy was a charming, attractive, effervescent and strong representative for that generation. so when he was cut down so young, it was a slap not simply against a man, but against an entire generation. so i think that is very important to keep in mind. the second reason i think that he's had such an iconic presence in american public life even to this day is that he learned on
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the job. if be you look at what john kennedy was planning to do before he got elected and compare it to what he was doing in 1963 just before he died, you can see a man who sort of shared the learning process with the american people and worked them towards a different country. we don't have a lot of time, but the best example is on civil rights. john kennedy on civil rights was not progressive in 1960. i would argue that richard nixon, the vice president's proposals for civil rights were as progressive or even more progressive in certain respects than john kennedy's in 1960. by 1963 john kennedy and his brother robert are on the forefront of the civil rights movement, but it took three years of learning for that to happen. and in many ways it took three years of learning for the entire country to be at the point where it was in 1963. >> host: can you from a historical point of view draw parallels between the kennedy administration and the obama
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administration? >> guest: it's not for me to draw those parallels. not yet. i haven't, you know, unlike david remnick i haven't done the research on the obama administration. i can't say. what i can say is this, what is very interesting is to watch leaders express their willingness to change. not just to change the country, but themselves to change and to learn. we've been, we have sort of a tension in american society where some people think you have to know what to do the minute you become president. but is that really realistic? frankly, there's no job like being president, even vice president. even a very strong, miss lahr vice president in the -- muscular in the case of the vice presidency of dick cheney. even in that case you're not president. so there are burdens which you can only really shoulder when you are president. so is it realistic to assume
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that day one the president is going to have the right answers? on any day? what i think will be interesting for all of us to watch is the extent to which barack obama shares his learning process with the public. because, you know, he is, after all, if you look at his training, if the you've read his memoir, he's a man who does learn and who believes in self-discovery and exploration. >> host: what do you hope to bring to the table with your new jfk book, and when will we see it? >> guest: i have to say you'll see it as soon as i finish it, and i, my publisher might be watching, so i will be getting more into it. i've just started the research, i'm getting more into it in the next couple of years. there's a lot of material about john f. kennedy that has become available to the public in the last few years. i believe that with the exception of the cuban missile
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crisis, the materials on his tapes have not been fully integrated into the narrative of his presidency. you can see him learning in the tapes on vietnam. you can see him learning in the tapes on the civil rights, on civil rights. you can see him learning in other areas too. there's a whole narrative, and, of course, there are some beautiful books about kennedy that have been written. richard reid's week is superb, ted sorenson and arthur schlesinger, but there's some new material, and also i think my generation should come to terms with why he remains an icon and whether it's fair. does the kennedy presidency have lessons that are useful today? i hope to answer that question. >> host: and tim naftali mentioned richard reeves who will be participating in the first panel we cover today. his most recent book, "daring young men: the heroism and
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triumph of the berlin air lift." next caller, please go ahead with your question. >> caller: hello, america. i have a brief question regarding the mckinley administration and subsequent roosevelt administration. i have, you know, been a scholar of presidential history, but i do not -- by no means do i consider myself a presidential historian. as a recent government and international politics major, i have a great interest in the office of the presidency, and my question was relating to president mckinley's final inaugural address in which he seemed to have solved the manufacturing, labor and industrial issues that we were having at the time while also providing for a $41 million tax cut. and when president roosevelt talked about president mckinley in his first address to the
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nation, he said that at the time of president mckinley's assassination he was the most beloved man in the entire united states. can you shed some light into why that was the case for president mckinley? >> host: thank you, boulder. let's leave it there. >> guest: by the way, there's no special training course to become a presidential historian. i think you just have to have written one biography or just be interested in presidents. i mean, we're all presidential historians if we live in the united states. well, remember about mckinley two important points. first of all the spanish-american war. mckinley was a wartime president, and it was at least from the standards of the time in this country it was considered to be a successful war. secondly, tariffs and protection of, you know, american products.
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the unite crossed over an important bridge in the late 19th century, became a world power. mckinley, arguably, is the first president to walk us over the bridge. theodore roosevelt and woodrow wilson would understand very well the implications, but it's really mckinley who very calmly, carefully walks us over the bridge and makes us into the 20th century global power that we were. >> host: we are here live at the los angeles times book festival, it's held on the grounds of ucla in the west l.a. area, and, in fact, the c-span bus is also here, and they are handing out book bags. so if you happen to be in the area, you want to come down and get a book bag, come on down and see us. next cal for tim naftali comes from west handover, new hampshire. good afternoon. >> caller: hello, peter and good
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day, tim. looks like you're enjoying yourself. a general comment and then a question for you there. first of all, i'm currently reading the chalmers johnson trilogy. he's a lot of research on militarism, and his books are very, very well corroborated and documented, so i understand well what you mean about having the documentation there. i mean, it actually might be conceived as too much, but if you're really interested in questioning what goes on, you want to see all of that stuff, and his books are extremely well documented. i want to ask you with regard to presidential impact, it looks like to me that a lot of if you want to perceive these things as troubles, maybe the business community doesn't always see them as troubles, but a lot of these things are linked to lack of regulation that we're experiencing right now, and there's a phrase, hostile to business. and i think over the last certainly 20-30 years if any president or any one, any politician is perceived as being
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even mildly hostile to business, he's simply, he or she is not going to get any kind of ball rolling whatsoever. and i want to ask you, if we get to a day where real regulation, not anachronistic but, you know, really what -- like traffic cop type regulation. not good cop/bad cop, but traffic cop. if it comes back, what will have occurred or how charismatic will a president have to be in order to see something like that come back to our country? >> host: tim naftali. >> guest: okay. great question. keep in mind that these arguments, you can find them in the late 18th century as well as 19th century and 20th century. the point is the ground shift, the debate shifted. the terms may be the same, but, you know, what's considered excessive regulation today would have been unthinkable in 1913. in 1913 the creation of the federal reserve was considered
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to be unthinkable regulation. the ground shifts the arguments often stay the same. the country, remember, part of the beauty of the country, of our system, of our constitutional system is this give and take, this constant push. so i'm not pessimistic because the words may be the same, the arguments change and the ground shifts over time. so there are periods of more regulation, periods of underregulation, if you will. look at the savings and loan crisis, again, of the george h.w. bush period. consider the argument they were underregulated, then they had to be regulated again. our system allows for this constant debate, and so i don't worry about the same rhetoric reappearing because that's, that's one of the patterns of american history. what i look at are the results.
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what is the end point of those debates? where does it take us? does it take us down the road of bitterness and division? in that case it's not good. or does it take us to a new consensus? when it takes us to a new con consensus, it's just the system working itself out. >> host: got a kind of a two-part question here. that caller talked act reading chalmers johnson. does that say anything to you about that man's politics? >> guest: oh, peter, i don't want to go down -- that's not fair. >> host: and the second part of the question -- >> guest: you know why it's not fair? i'm going to be terribly optimistic, idealistic and, i guess, naive. but you know what? it's a book festival, so this is an opportunity to be this way. people make the argument that readers only read to confirm their assumptions.
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i hope that's not true. because then we're only going to deepen the divide. i just, look, i just, i don't want to go down that road because i don't want to believe that people just read what they believe in. i don't read just what i believe in. and it sharpens my own views by reading a very smart scholar who makes a difference, has a different kind of interpretation. it doesn't have to be political, by the way, it could be an interpretation. that, i think, makes us smarter. so i would rather not assume anything about this person's politics, and i would hope that he doesn't assume anything about his politics by the books he chooses. >> host: last call comes from philadelphia. go ahead, philadelphia. >> caller: hi. i've been a schoolteacher, and i've taught anywhere from ap courses to elementary school and some emotionally disturbed kids
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who have had a lot of issues in their life. and my question is, when do we start telling children the actual truth about american history and not just groundhog day or columbus day and those sort of things? >> guest: well, thank you for that great question. i think we tell the truth, educators, as often as we can. and i think that should be every day. but there is a question embedded in, or there is an assumption embedded in your question which is that textbooks for one reason or another cannot tell the truth. i worry about oversimplification. i know i've been criticized sometimes for being a complexifier. it's not really true. if we oversimplify, we actually get further away from the truth sometimes than we want to. so i love your question because
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your question implies that you're pushing and trying. i think that's what we all do over time. we try our best. now, people out there are going to say, oh, what's the truth, and it's what you think it is. let me tell you something, i'm not a postmodernist. i believe that things happen. i believe there are facts. i believe there is a real world out there. peter, i assure you, he is here, okay? it is beautiful out there. what the larger significance of these things may be we could disagree about, but the basic facts we shouldn't. if we don't deliver those basic facts to our students we are, first of all, underestimating them, and secondly, we're not giving them the building blocks to make good choices today. it's very, very hard to understand the world if you don't know where we've come from, so thank you for doing what you do, and i really liked your question. >> host: tim naftali, author and directer of the richard nixon library, thanks for kicking off our coverage of the l.a. times book festival.
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>> guest: it's been a pleasure. thank you very much, peter. bye, have a good day. >> host: and in about half an hour our first panel of the day will kick off, and that is history rising above oppression. phillip ceerny, richard reeves and jeffrey robinson all participating, but coming up next is the author of this book, "it takes a pillage," nomi prins, and we'll be right back. >> we're at this year's c pack conference talking with jake hampton cook about her new book. >> this book is called stories of faith and courage from the war in iraq and afghanistan, and my co-authors and i interviewed 60 or so men and women from the military to get their firsthand accounts, and the book is formatted into 365 stories so you can read them, you know, one every day if you want and really just get a really good glimpse
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at how people have lived loudly for liberty on our behalf in iraq and afghanistan. >> tell us about, i'm sorry, have you been to cpac before? >> yes, i have. it's a great place. it talks about, you know, the founding of our nation and always talked about what people are doing today for the cause of liberty and freedom. >> it seems like your books run in kind of after series, or do they follow a pattern? is there -- can you tell us about that? >> yes. this is called, the series is called "battlefields and blessings," and there are four books in the series. there's one on the revolution, there's one on the civil war, world war ii, iraq and afghanistan, and then vietnam, i think, is in process and some others. so it's very much a rich series to really gather, you know, how people have, you know, stood firm for freedom and displayed courage throughout the generations. and there's so many
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similarities. you know, times change, but a lot of things don't change, and courage is one of those things and faith as well. >> how did you get started doing this series? >> well, my publisher wanted to do this series, and i really wanted to, you know, get started on the founding of our country and the revolution. and then we just had to do iraq and afghanistan, and so it was just something that came to me or something i could really put a lot of passion and energy into. for this book we've interviewed so many people and just to get, you know, a variety of ranks and men and women and to really get a good, deep perspective and a far-reaching perspective on some of those, you know, raw experiences that people have had in iraq and afghanistan and how they have triumphed in the face of tremendous adversity. >> do you write for other venues or do you have a blog? >> i have a web site, jane, and there's a lot of information about me and my other books. so kind of a good mixture of
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good american folks down through the generations. >> thank you very much.
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>> host: book tv is back live at the los angeles times 15th annual festival of books. you can see some of the tents and some of the booths that are set up here, about 130,000
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people are expected over the next two days. we will give you five-and-a-half hours of live coverage today, five-and-a-half hours of live coverage tomorrow. author panels and author call-ins. the c-span bus is also here, and you can see some folks are gathered out in front because we're passing out book bags and booktv pens, so if you're in the area, come on down and see us. anbout 20 feet from where the bus is is our temporary call-in set, and now joining us on the set is nomi prins. most recent book is, "it takes a piagehind the bailouts, bonuses and back room deals from washington to wall street." this was written 2009. nomi prins, the senate is currently working on financial regulation matters, what do you think about what the u.s. senate is doing? >> guest: well, i think they appear to be trying, but, unfortunately, if you really dig into how banks operate and i
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worked at them and have written extensively about them, unfortunately, the financial reform package as it stands now, the bill that senator dodd has put forth so far will really not get to the core of the kinds of risks that banks put into the general overall economy. >> host: you say you used to work at banks, you used to be a managing directer at goldman sachs. >> guest: yes, i was. >> host: what did you work on? >> guest: baseically, i worked on the beginning of the credit derivatives, the cdos. a portion of these toxic assets and blew up. when i worked on them, i left in 2002, they were predominantly made up of high yield or junk bonds. they weren't made up of the subprime loans and individuals' kind of homes beneath them that they ultimately came to be. but that's what wall street does. it takes the method, it takes the crust of a pie and fills it with different kind of filling as those become available and
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makes money out of them. >> host: let's put up the numbers so we can get right to calls with nomi prins. 202 is the area code, 585-3885 east and central time zone, 585-3886 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zones. also you can send her a tweet. we're checking our tweets, so if you have a question via tweet, is our twitter address. nomi prins, you mentioned cdos, clatterrallized debt obligations, junk bonds, where did all this stuff come from? i mean, why are we talking about that and not talking about profits and econ 101? where does that fit into all this? >> guest: well, that's a good question. cdos are these packages of weird things that became part of the public consciousness when the financial crisis happened in 2008. we're really constructed -- they were really constructed back in
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the late '80s. disintegrated without a bailout, importance different between that and a couple decades later. and it's, what the bigger banks, the more speculative banks do is they say, all right, what can we stuff into and reengineer and rejigger and everything else into new packages whatever we call them, cdos -- it's just a name. and make money out of them by slicing them, dicing them, selling them, marketing them to little pension funds in iowa to little towns in iceland and basically take money up front, throw the risk out to the world and not care about what happens to it. they are risk transfer products. they always were. and there's a lot of money to be made -- >> host: are they marketed that way? is it all clear, and how regulated are they now?
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>> guest: they're not regulated security, that's one of the problems with the market. despite the problems it's had over the years, it is not regulated. there's no exchange that says, all right, we're here as a cdo, here's what's in it, here's how it's trading on any given day. they're so tailor made for that deal, for those clients, for those backers. each time they're created, there isn't an exchange, there isn't regulation. regulators are so far behind considering it, and even in these bills that have been proposed by the house and senate, there's nothing in there that really gets at making them more open. so almost anything goes. if you want to bet against the weather and i want to bet for the weather and we go to goldman sachs and say, you know, do something, create something on both sides, okay, well, i'll structure a piece of weather here in brazil, here in africa, whatever, we'll stick it together, you take a bet, she'll take a bet, we'll make money on both sides -- >> host: because they do the structuring. >> guest: they do the structuring, and they do the
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trading. they put it together, they sell it. >> host: is that what happened to john paulson? he came to goldman sachs and said, hey, i want to put this package together, and i want to bet against it. >> guest: yeah, for the most part. and most of that is perfectly legal within, unfortunately, the structure that we have. >> host: is it important, is it an important economic thing to do? does it, does it help the national economy in any way? >> guest: no. it is purely a betting mechanism. there's no, there's certainly no help that paulson gave. paulson took a bet that the housing market was going to go down -- >> host: which is perfectly repsychiatry mate to do, correct? >> guest: it is. there were many people, including myself, who thought there were problems with the market and it was looking too good to be true. he came to goldman and said i want to select the things you're going to buy from me, but i'm going to bet against you. so that's kind of, again, sort of legal because the fact that i'm betting against you, you're still taking the bet on your
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side. you shouldn't care that i am betting against you. the problem comes in and the sec charge is going to try to get to should goldman have disclosed to someone who brought part of that deal that paulson -- not that he was on the other side, they don't have to disclose that, but that he selected some of the securities and was on the other side, that he was a part of the selection process which was not disclosed in their marketing terms, and that's going to be where the is going to hinge. >> host: "it takes a pillage," nomi prins. first call comes from richmond, virginia. please go ahead with your question. >> caller: hey, i just wanted to ask with the huge bailout, is there a danger of that with the valuation of the currency through inflation? >> guest: well, i think a lot of people want to know if any of these problems will affect the dollar, and so far they haven't. part of the reason why is because all these assets, all
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the transactions, all the marketing was very global. so problems that happened on one side that might have emanated from the united states where most of the manufacturing of these assets were taking place and most of the bailout and the subsidies to fix the market were given out, there's still impacts across the world from having been involve inside those products. -- involved in those products. technically, the dollar shouldn't remain as strong by virtue of the fact that we have and have continued to hold so much money behind these assets without really knowing where they went. they didn't disappear, you know? a lot of them still exist. they're on books, they're marked in different ways. so having money behind them, having debt accumulate behind them, having the fed put out a lot of money behind them only works when we can pretend they're still valuable or they become valuable again. the moment that becomes less clear is when we have more problems with the currency even though it's been a globalized problem, i think.
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>> host: norco, california. good morning to you, please, go ahead. norco,? california. >> caller: really important, and i think americans are beginning to figure out that congress and the country is really being run by these big money cartels. they even ran into greece and iceland with these cdos and the like. who, you know, with them embedded in the government every term, who can come against this cartel? i heard money's going to crash this year at the end, at the library all these sites say that the dollar's going to crash. did you hear anything about that? thank you very much. >> guest: well, as i mentioned to the other question whether the dollar crashes or not really depends on whether we get another revelation that indicates that a lot of these assets really aren't worth what the fed and banks are saying they are worth which is, which
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is not impossible. i don't believe they're worth what either of those entities say they're worth. and we do have a problem. we have a problem that wall street and certainly the senior managers and ceos of wall street have an incredibly tight relationship with washington. you know, ceo of goldman sachs now, and the firm is being charged by is sec at the same time, has had many meetings with obama. you know, there are continued reports, you know, before that of ceos having meetings with the white house, with the treasury secretary. the treasury secretary was involved, tim geithner was involved in an enormous portion of the bailout and subsidization of the banking industry without requiring any rules be changed, without putting any strings attached to not just the t.a.r.p. money, but all of the bailout money. all these gifts that were given to wall street. and that tight relationship between the people, the real personal relationships is definitely a problem. i don't know how we fix it.
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i think we the people have to continue to be really pissed off, really vigilant about what we think of these relationships in our votes, in our comments, in everything else because it's not going to change by itself. >> host: and, in fact, nomi prins writes, if it seems as if the culture of goldman sachs pervades the halls of washington, that's because the people of goldman sachs pervade the halls of washington. that's why despite all the talk about reforming the system, the same execs who orchestrated its failures were the ones hobnobbing with the political leaders of the bush and obama administrations. >> guest: yeah, i mean, that's the thing to realize here. this is not a partisan situation. this is not like bush was bad, obama's good, obama's bad, bush was good. there's a series and years of interrelationships no matter which party is in power in congress and no matter which party has the presidency. hank paulson, who was the former ceo of goldman sachs --
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>> host: when you were there, right? >> guest: when i was there. of course, the treasury secretary that was involved in a portion of the bailout. the other person, tim geithner, was working with hank paulson during that time, so there's a consistency and approach related to what goldman people and someone like paulson wanted. robert rubin, another former co-ceo of goldman sachs before i got there, just before i got there, was very instrumental in deregulating the banking system to deinvolve into the problems that we now have under clinton's administration. they would have these series of goldman ties as well as deregulatory actions that culminate to create a situation where we see crisis and then wonder how that happens. >> host: you used to be with bear stearns as well. >> guest: yes. >> host: what did you do for them? >> guest: again, i've always been involved in structuring,
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therefore, i do know these very well. and i left to write about them, but i wasn't uninvolved. and when i was at bear stearns, it was in london, and i worked on a lot of different types of analysis. i worked in giving suggestions to investors into not just buying toxic assets, but which government bonds to buy, which governments were better, which were worse at any particular time and a lot of analytic-type advice. i think when you're in the environment and that's why i can look at it from outside and really dissect it, you don't think about the ramifications necessarily of the products that you're making. there's all of this pressure to make money, there's all this pressure for your area to make money within the firm, for your firm to make money within the industry -- >> host: is it constant? >> guest: it's absolutely constant. and there's a real, it depends on the day and the firm and everything else, but everyone is talking about how to get to the bonus. there's months where this is discussed towards the end of
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each year. everything sort of leads up to really making money, and you don't have conversations that go from betting and creating a structure that's going to hurt greece, oh, my god, what's going to happen to the greek people? it just doesn't really enter into the conversation, and that's a really bad part of the entire industry. and it continues to get worse because everything that's made and all of these products and all this risk that's been accumulated, there's nothing to counter it. the rules that are put forth again in congress really won't, and so it continues to spiral badly and every so often it has to correct itself for a second because the market comes down and buyers go out. but they come back in. and then it goes on. >> host: next call for nomi prins, decatur, georgia. good afternoon. >> caller: yes, nomi, you know this synthetic cdo is nothing more than a stock future, and there's always a seller on the other end of that type of trade,
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so regardless of whether it's john paulson or john doe, itb which was the bank that was on the other end of that trade actually they tried to upgrade that investment by putting in 14 of their own mortgages to try to upgrade it. they ended up downgrading it because they didn't know. so the government case they didn't disclose that john paulson was on the other end is without merit. this is nothing more than a political football, wouldn't you agree with that? >> guest: well, i mean, as i said before, the fact that paulson was the other side is, to me, not an issue. and if or that -- for that to be made part of the issue really isn't where the potential fraud would lie, i don't think that's the problem. the problem is potentially this, when the deal was put together and, yes, itb was on the other side, but there was a management team that signed off on these
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securities that referenced things that were inside the cdo, and that was five different parties including jpmorgan, including merrill lynch, including amback, and they were the selectors. they were put on the marketing materials as being the selectors. paulson was also a selector, and he was specifically not put on the marketing materials, so the question is, would this management group have done the deal? would people have invested had they known? maybe they would. they obviously wanted to invest in this deal, but things could have turned out differently had they known that, and it was not specifically not disclosed, and i think that's where there's the potential case. >> host: what is demos, and why are you in california? >> guest: demos is a nonpartisan public policy think tank that deals with issues from voting rights to financial reform and everything in between. it's based in new york, it's
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actually going to have its tenth anniversary next month. i joined right after i left goldman, actually, when world come was the crisis of the moment, and that was the first thing i was speaking about was how banks and those companies related to each other. but demos itself is 60 or so individuals now, they're based in new york, they have an office in d.c. they are -- >> host: george soros-funded? >> guest: it's not actually funded by george soros. i mean, there are other funders, and there are other types of funders, i believe the rockefeller foundation is or was, so there's some significant funders behind it. and a lot of the work is very research-based. it's a lot of data that is also used for the reports that demos comes out with. i did a report on bank risk and really looking into the books and seeing where the numbers were, and those kinds of things take time and research and effort and that kind of thing. i am out in l.a. really kind of
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to be an offshoot but also because i kind of like l.a. [laughter] it's a change for other reasons, other types of writing and things as well to, you know, be on another side of the country. >> host: was there something that happened or did it just kind of add up to you to leave the world of finance? >> guest: i think it was an accumulation process. i mean, i think even when i was a bear in london before i moved back to new york to be a part of goldman, i was already disenchanted with what we were doing and how it was turning out. it just wasn't feeling right, what i was doing, and also just the environment. you know, the internal politics, the bureaucracy, the intensity on the money just seemed really empty. and yet i did move back to new york, i did join goldman as the last race in, you know, in the industry that i worked, and i really hated it. i really thought that everything i felt about the intensity of
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how a firm operates and what it does and how that doesn't connect into what's going on outside and the rest of the world really hit home for me there, and i think after 9/11 where i was on wall street, i was at goldman at the time, those were the kind of moments where i think a lot of us just think, is this what i want to do with my life, or do i want to educate, do i want to do something else? >> host: and this is nomi prins' most recent book, "it takes a pillage," is the name of this book. but he's also written "other people's money" and "jacked: how conservatives are picking your pocket whether you voted for them or not." next call comes from philadelphia. philadelphia, you're on the air. diswhrk hello, ms. prins. i just wanted to react to a president program that i watched last night, and i would encourage you
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to check it out. bill moyer's journal comes on every week. you may or may not know he's going to retire from the program. they had william black on, and he was reacting to testimony given by geithner on august 10th before congress where they were talking about the financial crisis, some of the bank regulations. and during his testimony geithner stated during the time that all this was blowing up with aig and goldman and what have you that fed, the new york fed and the other central banks had no authority under the law to limit risk taking. amongst all these entities. and that essentially they were -- [inaudible] how frustrating they were. also mr. shapiro, the head of the fcc -- sec, testified on the
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same day and expressed her frustration that the sec could not do more. when asked to react to that, mr. black said while the reason they couldn't do a lot of the things they were unable to do to curtail this fiasco was because the fed had lobbied to repeal glass-steagall. so, in fact, they were the architects of -- [inaudible] themselves, takes the tool out of the tool box, so to speak, and then going to congress and saying we had no way of stopping this because we didn't have -- >> host: thanks, caller. nomi prins. >> guest: yeah, well, i think your right. you're pointing to a real disingenuous kind of component of the whole argument on both sides. yes, glass-steagall was repealed in 1999. that allowed big banks to both take depositor money, you know, deal with creating loans and also bret bet. betting requires speculative
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trading requires putting capital behind it. you can choose where you put that capital, and you still can. if the a bank decides, you know what? instead of putting capital behind creating new loans with individual, we ought to bet against packages of subprime loans or oil or food, that's just a choice. we will move it there. the new york fed has a very close connection to wall street, and the federal reserve, of course, has the ability to see information as this stuff is coming to a head. they also had information about what was going on with the subprime loans underlying what became all these toxic assets. it was obvious between 2006 and 2007 that foreclosures were doubling, that these securities were having a problem, that ratings were going to be as disingenuous as they are were going to come down on these securities. and your responsibility as the regulatory enforcer of the banking industry is to not sit there on your hands and say, i can't do something. that wasn't the decision that was made when the bailout decision was taken.
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there wasn't a we can't do anything, there was more like here's some money and here's some other stuff to get you through the day. and so there are emergency powers within the federal reserve act that allow the fed to do whatever it needs to do to promote economic stability, and if it sees that there are information lacking or nontransparency or whatever might be coming from the banking sector, it is their job to take a look at that stuff. and they just failed at that job. the sec failed at its job. the sec allowed the risk taking, the leverage, the betting against these types of securities and others to accumulate from 2004 when they changed the rules to allow that to happen. when you change your rules to allow something to get more risky and then you don't watch it as it becomes more risky, that's a failure on the part of the regulatory body. so they contribute to their own failure, but then they fail in executing their defense against what they contributed. i mean, so it's a bad cycle.
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>> host: and you call in "it takes a pillage," you say the repeal of glass-steagall was one of the biggest mistakes ever made. why? >> guest: because it allows banks to both have the benefit of having fdic banking and have their deposits backed and have that capital assurance, that cushion in order to go off into other areas and bet more. and what was happening, i actually talk about this in "other people's money," they're unleashed after glass-steagall is repealed. there was banks like jpmorgan chase and citigroup that were full combinations of investment banks, speck speculative banks d commercial banks that deal with customers in sort of more vanilla loans and deposits. and then you have the goldman sachss and the lehman brothers and the bear stearns, instead we are going to leverage or borrow against what we do have by much more so we can compete with these bigger banks. so even though they weren't
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combined post-glass-steagall banks, they were just investment for a while, the competition against what was going on with the new kind of commercial investment banks post-glass-steagall drove up all of the risk in the market. and right now, again, the bills put forth so far in congress don't actually repeal the repeal of glass-steagall. there are some senators who want to try to do that, but so far they are not and have not been put into these bills. >> host: what would you like to see in the a reform package passed by the congress? >> guest: well, first and foremost we should have a repeal of glass-steagall repeal. we should go back to -- >> host: that's not even under consideration, is it? >> guest: again, by some senators and some house members, but what is under consideration instead which they are saying, many senators are saying would be the helpful thing and so is tim geithner and the fed chairman that if we just
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increase the capital that banks have to put behind, reduce the risk that way, but don't segment out into glass steigel type of separations, that'll be okay. but it won't be okay. that'll just take money away from trending and put -- lending and put it into speculation. >> host: nomi prins has been our guest for the last half hour. her most recent book, "it takes a pillage." if you would like to see more, she taped an "after words" program with us. she sat down with senator bernie sanders and taped an "after words," so you can go to, and you can watch it all online at nomi prins, thank you for being with us. >> guest: thank you so much, peter. >> host: by the way, everything that we're covering today is going to reair tonight at 11 p.m. eastern time, 8 p.m. pacific time. and that will be the re-air of today's entire coverage of the l.a. times' festival of books. well, right now it's time to go to our first panel, and here in
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haines hall on the quad area of ucla is our first panel, and this is history rising above oppression. it's due to begin is about a minute or so. phillip kearney is going to be there. his book is about kosovo. richard reeves' most recent book is about the berlin air lift, and jeffrey robinson, "if you leave us here, we will die." those are the three authors participating. it'll take about an hour or so to watch, and then after that we're going to come back live, and we're going to ask you what you'd like to see on booktv. a lot more coverage today, here's the first panel. >> all cell phones during this session, there will be a book signing following this session, and the book signing for this panel is located in the north signing area, that will be marked haines 39. .. books to
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be read. i am first going to introduce our panelists, then i will make a few introductory remarks, offer a few themes for discussion and on will turn it over to our panelists and after that to the audience for
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questions. we have a fascinating and diverse group of authors today, each of whom approaches the past, in two case is the very recent past from multiple perspectives. for phillip kearney the book he will discuss is his first, it is entitled "under the blue flag: my mission in kosovo" and it was published in 2008. this book details phillip kearney's experiences that the prosecutor in kosovo in 2001 at at the action at -- international tribunal in 2007 where he prosecuted kosovo are albanians and serve for war crimes. phillip kearney has -- >> thank you. >> a law degree from the university of california and before joining the united
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nations mission in kosovo he worked for 17 years for the san francisco district attorney. he is an assistant united states attorney in san francisco. richard reeves is here to discuss his latest book richard reeves -- "daring young men: the heroism and triumph of the berlin airlift". it was published with simon and schuster it is year. richard reeves is a distinguished author, columnist and journalist. his syndicated column has been in more than 100 newspapers since 1979. he has been a correspondent for the new york times and the new york herald among many other magazines and newspapers. and he is the author of a number of best-selling books including three widely hailed presidential biographies. president kennedy, president nixon, and president reagan and he is currently the senior
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lecturer at the school of communication at the university of southern california. [inaudible] >> we are hearing the next door panel. it is c-span talking over as. i don't know why they are doing that. is there anyone here from c-span? who can speak to this issue? someone needs to turn the sound off. please? i am going to proceed. our third panelist is geoffrey robinson, author of "if you leave us here, we will die: how genocide was stopped in east timor". it was published this year by princeton university press. he is professor of history at the university of california los
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angeles where he has taught since 1997. from 1998 to 1995 he was head of research for island southeast asia and amnesty international headquarters in london and in that capacity he wrote two monographs and made sure to report on human rights conditions. since leaving amnesty international in 1995 he has continued to work on issues of human rights and humanitarian aid both independently and as a consultant. from june to november 1999 he served as political affairs officer with united nations in east timor. he has written a number of books including the 1995 book the dark side of paradise political violence. and with some common questions found in this book we are
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discussing today, can everybody hear over this? is there not somebody from c-span -- where is it? who is it? is anyone monitoring? could somebody call about this? now it seems gone again. from the experience -- from the perspective of those
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experiencing directly -- sometimes a simple answer is the answer. okay. each of these books offers a view of history from the ground up from the perspective of those experiencing directly the events as they unfold. phillip kearney gives us a first-person account of the functioning legal system in kosovo. he gives us an account of the obstacles in a socie dominated by organized crime and without stable democratic institutions. [inaudible conversations]
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[applause] the revenge of technology. richard reeves provide interviews and firsthand accounts of the daily life of those who made the berlin airlift and brings together the experiences of drivers and grab crews who brought food, fuel and surprise to the residents of west berlin for 400 days. geoffrey robinson we've together the complex policy and politics which drove the politics of east timor in the 1970s following the indonesian invasion and the threat of genocide in 1999 and puts himself in the narrative
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describing what he witnessed personally in east timor. each of these books is in favor of international intervention and the institution of international standards of justice and human rights. this is an important topic to discuss given the controversy in american intervention in iraq and afghanistan. phillip kearney despite the frustration and disappointments he felt at the limits of his ability to bring war criminals to justice and imperfections of the system, he concludes his inspiring experience with a deep commitment to international criminal law. richard reeves celebrates the the british intervention to brake the soviet blockade as a moment of american selflessness.
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soldiers who had returned home went back to germany in order to feed the germans they had been bombing three years earlier. he presents the american decision to stay in berlin as a great allied defense of berlin against soviet oppression and leading directly to the formation of nato. geoffrey robinson argues the powers complicity in genocide in the united states, britain and australia became the towers in 1999, worked with international humanitarian organizations to stop another genocide. a third theme related to the second is that individuals can make a difference. two of our three authors participated personally in the events they are about to relate. i turn to our officers with an opening question. each of these books deals with recent if not very contemporary history. we have a critical chapter in the early cold war with a number
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of participants still alive. we have east timor were the wounds of genocide and indonesian occupation remain open wounds still shaping the lives of them and kosovo 2001 before it became a nation where many of the accused remain at large. how did the proximity of events shaped the way he wrote about them? what were the challenges of not having time and distance between you and the event? >> good morning. can you hear me? my experiences in kosovo were a proximate. to answer your question i was living and working in the courts in kosovo, in the capital of that province, arguably a
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country, when you are on the ground in the middle -- not to be too dramatic but the injustice or the chaos, decisions get made on a daily basis. i found you just have to triumph. you have to try to impose some kind of order. i always kid that i think what a great thing bureaucracy is. people who fill out forms, just do the things like write parking tickets, the things we come to expect in a well ordered society. where you don't have that, you have no accountability, you go down a very bad path as humans trying to live together.
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things were very approximately and one of my big tasks is going to court. my first trial involved attempted murder of a police officer and his family. i was looking at the case file getting ready for the trial thinking this is good. a police officer was shot at and knows the person shooting him and wind and a friend of his, he fled to montenegro because of a person was kind of one of the bigger thugs in kosovo. just kind of a muscle head.
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we were able to cajole him back into kosovo and go to trial. little steps are important in imposing some kind of order in the beginnings of society. >> my wife was in kosovo as representative of the international rescue committee which is the largest in the united states and became the american director of the united nations and special assistant to coffee and an. kofi annan. i wrote this book because of these things. i wrote the book because of our abu ghraib. i had been around the world enough and lived both here and
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abroad and was cut, really, by the hatred about america and its role in the world and i was determined to write about the country i thought i grew up in, about what america was. i was 6 years old when the berlin airlift happened. i look for a long time for a story and finally came upon the personal largely forgotten by history, the extraordinary adventure and story that was the berlin airlift. the soviets, berlin was 110 miles inside east germany. there was a road from the british sector and railroads and canals leading into the city and
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that is the way we supplied west berlin which was jointly occupied by americans, british and french. stalin decided on march 19th, one of the few minutes that survive in the kremlin about this on march 19th of 1948 he met with the leaders of east germany and hatched a plan to try to drive the allies out thinking that the allies would leave before they would let more than a million people starved to death in a city that was really a pile of rubble. people were living in caves. 85% of the housing was destroyed by our bombing. the stench of death was still everywhere because there were bodies under those piles of rubble. when stalin put on the blockade the british first brought up the
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idea of trying to supply the city by air and they calculated it would take 4500 tons a day to keep the city alive and food, madison, fuel which was very important, only an hour a day of electricity in west berlin at that time. on june 24th, 1948, harry truman called the new national security council and joint chiefs of staff and on other days the joint chiefs of staff were people like omar bradley who was a great hero in world war ii. they voted on that day on june 24th, unanimously to leave berlin. there was no way we with 6500
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troops surrounded by four million of the red army, the red army stayed in germany and eastern europe because they had never been paid during the war and stalin was using worthless currency in germany's case, to pay the soldiers the pay they never had. it was the reason he wanted to be there and when did to get us out. on june 6th -- june 26th, two days after that unanimous vote, when the meeting was finished, truman -- i have done too many presidents, truman said we stay in berlin, period. and got up to walk out of the room. one of the wise men said mr. president, have you thought this through? all the soviets need to overrun billion -- berlin is shoes.
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truman did not answer him and on june 26th, two days after that, phones rang all over the country where people had phones, western union telegrams were delivered to the pilot's's cruise, mechanics, statisticians, air-traffic controllers, transportation experts, people who made up the berlin airlift, the daring young men, in my book. this was one of the men and i will stop. and wind gear had been a lieutenant bombing with a b 24, had just finished alfred university in upstate new york and had been accepted at the university of mexico law school. his wife had gotten a job as the
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schoolteacher in albuquerque. lieutenant year, wet -- weston unit operator. no one called him that since he returned home flying be 24s. you have a telegram from the air force. i will read it and send it on to you. for direction of the president of the united states you are ordered at back to active duty for the berlin airlift within 48 hours. that happened all over. this was a different country than. these were small towns and police spread out to knock on the bourse and tell them they had 48 hours to report on active duty. the first day of the berlin airlift they were able to move only 70 tons and as one british pilot said, the airlift is a a
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collection of aircraft parts flying in loose formation. the united states had demobilized, our aircraft were sitting in the sun in arizona, the boneyards there. by the end of the airlift, the daring young men helped by a lot of daring young germans who in the end -- for the maintenance, these planes were carrying -- flying seven times as much as they were designed to and carrying more weight than they were designed to. by the end we were delivering with the british, 13,000 tons a day when stalin realize the price was too high. we had gone through the winter, napoleon had defeated hitler but did not defeat the daring young men who gave up their lives in
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another year of their lives to defeat the former enemy. >> thank you. as i understand the question, it is really one about how one writes history when the events one is recounting a recent. this is not the kind of thing most historians do. there may be some in the audience but i can say honestly lot of my colleagues had some doubt whether this was history or mere journalism or rubber taj but i did it anyway. there were a couple reasons for that. the events -- probably true of philip as well -- the events i witnessed wouldn't leave me alone so the first draft of this book which i wrote within months of leaving the carnage in east timor in which more than half of
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the population was displaced, i wrote it in the first few months and looking back on that now, the draft that i wrote was pretty raw and probably served the purpose of personal psychological therapy more than it served history. i was advised very graciously by some colleagues to put it aside for a while and allow some time for reflection. in the end it took ten years to put this book together. there were other reasons that i felt i had to write it. i was lucky in a sense because i had been following this small place which after all was a country of fewer than a million people, a country very few people know anything about. the question arises why would you write such a book? why bother to write about a place like this? one of the reasons for doing it
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that compels me to do it was despite its size and the very small number of people flat were affected, east timor is emblematic in a sense of the most important moral and i mean that, more questions of our time, the problems of the cold war, militarism and humanitarian intervention. here was an example that i knew something about both as a historian and because of my personal experience, that really opened, provided an opportunity to talk about all of those things but in an unusual way because it was one of the few cases that i know of where not only did a genocide happen and people survive a genocide but the very same people stood on the brink of suffering a second genocide and yet for a variety
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of reasons that i described in the book that genocide was stopped. it is the stopping of what might well have been a genocide that seemed to me particularly important story to tell. regardless of what one thinks about east timor or cares about east timor. it is a much bigger story. has the title suggests, that is the bulk of the book but it is the comparison with the earlier period when genocide did happen, is subject i already knew something about that allowed me to say something meaningful about what happened in the second new genocide in 1999 and what led me to conclude alongside my experience in the field, there are many reasons -- many ways in which many factors that came together quite gratuitously to allow that outcome but probably the most
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important and the one i emphasize in the book were the myriad acts of conscience and courage by ordinary people. it sounds a little like a fairy tale. i don't mean to say wherever people act courageously or wherever they act with conscience, genocides will stop but in the right conditions by think the case of east timor shows these acts of conscience, collective ones and individual ones by people in the country and people outside actually can change the course of history and that seemed to me to be a very compelling and important story to get out particularly at a time when there was, towards the beginning of this century, such skepticism, such snide cynicism towards the idea of
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international law, the idea of the united nations, a sneering notion that it was hopeless, it had no teeth and in this instance it was the ideals of international human rights and the institutions of the united nations alongside the courage of governmental organizations, the church and ordinarily timorese that made the difference against all the great powers of the world who frankly would not have done anything about this without that pressure. >> thank you. one more question before we turn it over to the audience? one of the themes of the book is the issue of the process of writing a book. i would like to ask each of our offers to speak about the process of writing, some of the challenges in writing and researching a book.
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>> i'd have done a lot of times. this book took three years. other books took a lot longer. what i basically did was find through various organizations of surviving american members, americans who worked in the airlift, the british, spent several months in germany talking to people who had been involved in one way or another. in situations like that everybody has a story. the story i wanted to tel was the way i saw america, way i see america today and hope some small impact on the way we think
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about ourselves and the way others think of it. i have often thought that i have been a journalist or a writer most of my life and i could never get over the fact that i could roam the world people and particularly germany where spend my time talking to old commies and older nazis and they are all there. it is much more clear now than it was at the time because those the american people supported the airlift and probably reelected truman, one of the things that wasn't talked about was we literally ran out of mechanics so fat we recruited general clay, former law head
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mechanics to service c 54s that we were doing. there would be severed ties, these people were saving their family's lives. it was coming together of the new american army, to tell the story first about a nazi who became an aircraft designer and became -- air minister of argentina. an old man now obviously. great expert on wind power. we are sitting at this moment and i know that i could get him to tell me who he actually is. he worked as a mechanic on their planes and he was very big and strong for a 90-year-old. he grabbed my lapels and pulled me over and said i want to tell you one more thing. there were no jews killed at
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auschwitz. that is all a jew law and it never happened. i said how do you know that? he said my father told me. he was the head guard at auschwitz. another coming together, the occupation troops, small number, 6500 of them in berlin were high-school kids. we mobilize the real army and one of them is corky, he owns a liquor store in denver who lied about his age. he was 17 years old, came to one of the bases where we were working out of, flying in 277,000 flights to berlin and he had to oversee a german crew of 50 people two of whom had been squadron leaders and one of whom
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had been a submarine captain. he did the only thing he could think of which was teach them to speak some english. by the second day when the officer of the day came by where they were working, with german workers were lined up and corky said good morning, major, son of a bitch. [laughter] >> do you want to take it up there? >> i don't think that is fair. i think i would like to give philip the opportunity now. let me say a few things. i mentioned already the first draft of this book was pretty raw and i would advise against trying to publish it because it
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was so personal and wasn't a very good history but the question that began to -- i set it aside for three four years and said forget it. this is just my diary. it is not worth publishing. i kept on thinking for reasons i described earlier that i really ought to write something as a historian but the question was how to combine this personal experience that i had had with my professional obligation as a historian to step back and analyze and be as objective as possible and i have a lot of trouble with that. it is difficult to figure out how you're going to combine those things. i had a wonderful conversation with a publisher who said it is not difficult at all. just do it. you were there so you can write about that and you were a historians so you can write about that so i did.
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that was a wonderful moment of revelation. two things i want to mention. the moment of truth, the beginning of writing this book came at exactly the moment my daughter was born in 2005. there was the practical question of how to write a book when you have an infant at home and your wife is a hard-working person who goes to the office every day. we solved this in a very novel modern way. my wife took my daughter to sweden ten times over the course of three years for two weeks each time and i wrote the book while they were away. very concentrated habit of writing. one final thing i will say is a lot of this is based on my personal observations. a lot of it is also on the basis of documents.
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one of the unusual things of working on this, frankly destroyed as east timor, there are no archives. you can simply go to the national archive or british q gardens or whatever. the documents are either burned or might be in somebody's basement. you just don't know. a lot of work involved of locating documents, i was lucky because i worked with the un and compile an archive of documents as part of my work. unfortunately just before we were to evacuate on un orders in september of 1999 leaving east timorese to their fate almost, the order was overturned, the un security authorities ordered the
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burning of the entire archives so for a historian that was a pretty terrible moment but luckily we were able to rescue some of the documents that had not been properly stored in their secure location. in addition there were a number of very brave local people from non-governmental organizations, as the country burned, literally burned, 75% of the entire infrastructure of the country burned in two to three weeks. as the country burned they ran from one government office to another, to the military barracks, grabbing whatever papers and documents they could and through that act of courage, they secured for future criminal prosecution and also historians valuable records of what had been going on until that time.
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no jokes. sorry. >> philip? >>çç my experience was differ from my co panelists here. i wrote in the first person about what i was doing. there wasn't a lot of archival research. the greater challenge was writing a first book. when i started riding my notes i was living under guard where i had been evacuated. my whole world outside work was a single bunk and barracks. i joked that my choices were drinking or writing. both good options actually. i also wanted -- start writing obviously. with occasional bouts of drinking. for me i was just trying to
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understand. i was placed in a very chaotic place, a chaotic time in history. i kind of wanted to make sure i got things down on paper because they are hard for me to understand. i wanted to someday get some perspective on what i was experiencing. there is a quote by mark twain that sums this up. i will get this wrong, but he says he learned how to ski in the summer and learned how to swim in the winter. what he was getting at was to really understand something takes a little bit of distance. you need to think back about it. that is what writing this book was. i wrote down my experiences, 80 pages. i didn't intend to write a book at that stage. i wanted to write some notes for children i didn't have. as i started riding i started researching history, 13 books about the balkans and and you
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start to get more of a perspective about how these things matter and how they fit so the book started to expand. when i came home, at the time i was a homicide prosecutor and became an organized crime prosecutor for the united states. i had a fairly busy life outside of writing. i joined a riding club in san francisco where my wife and i live. i made a scheduled appointment with this riding club every wednesday night from 6:00 to 7:30 and that is what i did. amazing what progress you can make. as a novice author you are a better writer at the end of the draft than you were at the beginning. i had the constant horrible recognition that at the end of my draft of the book is 300 pages or so and by the 300th
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page i would look of the first page and ago what horrible junk! what an an insightful lead in piece of work that was! so you go back and do it again. at some point you for your hands up and say enough's. >> if you would like to ask a question please come to the microphone on either side of the table. go ahead. >> what kinds of people commit atrocities like genocide? psychotic criminals or average people? what actually instigates and sets off a genocide? >> that is a simple question. actually, it is something i have thought about a lot and in answer to your first question i would say the author christopher
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browning has it right. he has written a book called ordinary men. essentially what i found in my study of east timor and other genocides it is ordinary people who commit genocide. in certain kinds of situations. ordinary people placed in particular circumstances are capable of committing genocide. it is not psychopaths, it is not exceptionally violent people. yes, they may play a role but it is ordinary people. it is one of the most worrying and shocking reality is. do you want me to answer -- does anyone want to add anything? >> i would agree with jeffrey. there are some common denominators. there is a component of ethnic hatred.
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there's a sense of nationalism held by the person pulling the trigger. in kosovo it is debatable whether it was genocide. there were crimes against humanity. they were committed by both sides but the one thing that underlies everything is a sense of the hatfields and mccoys. you are on the right side and your opponent is on the wrong side. they are a horrible serb or a dirty albanian. to a large extent that feels it. >> i would say one thing. it is always ordinary people. i happened to write about the flip side where extraordinary things were done by ordinary people. some of them very young. one of the american soldiers, teenagers refused orders from washington. part of our national policy was to keep germany as weak as
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possible. lucius clay and truman changed that in the airlift but one of the original orders to the occupation troops were that they were to pour gasoline on the garbage and the bins outside the american mess halls because many of the germans were starving were trying to get at the food and the american soldiers, these kids refuse that quarter and in fact they responded by going to these 24/7 mess halls and filling one stack after another and brought them out and gave them to the nuns running orphanages in germany and there were a lot of them. berlin was a city of women and old men when they got there. they refused that order and the government withdrew it and they were very ordinary guys. >> if i could add one more thing to answer the last part of your
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question. it is ordinary people but there are conditions. two really important conditions are a situation of international support or acquiescence. the case of the people committing the genocide. if you take the example of east timor in the 70s and 90s you see a dramatically different situation. in the 70s we see a genocide which is aided and abetted by key powers including the united states with u.s. weapons and after henry kissinger and ford, one day after they tell the president is okay, they give him the green light and 1999 those very powers of the united states and others pressured by their own populations, take a completely different position.
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it is that status taken by the international community which is indifferent to genocide in which 200,000 people die and they stopped genocide in which regrettably some died but nowhere near that many. >> i would like to offer a commendation to richard reeves for his book. is a story that hasn't been told in great detail and he has done a wonderful job. i have also problem with the title. we were quite young, i got to berlin and the army of occupation in february of 46, of this 22 years old and we saw the whole thing unwind in berlin. i was a member of a troop carrier outfit which was providing airlifts for the army of occupation and we were flying regularly. [applause]
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but we saw all the things the russians started doing. we observe the rubble of the city and the hardships. it is quite a story. we have to salute president truman for standing up and not letting us be driven out. i call it the first victory of the cold war because we stood for our place in that city and it was a wonderful experience. i was in b-17 transition when the war ended so i didn't see combat and my first assignment was to berlin in the army of occupation. we started that air left in sea 37s which only carried two tons but when they brought in the 54s we were deeply involved. it is a great story you have written which a lot of people don't understand. if the germans know that you were part of the airlift they can't do enough for you because
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they were really concerned. they could see what was happening in east berlin and it wasn't a pretty sight to them and they were afraid we were going to desert them. and three using before the airlift, they birdy using german mechanics. they knew our systems. they were great mechanics and our troops were being mustered out. the war was over and it was a movement. there are a lot of sidelights. just bear in mind one they and i will get off. we were flying hour airplane into berlin. every three minutes around the clock. think about that. good weather or bad that went on and on. i made 91 trips before my three years were up and i was ready to come home. i would have liked to fly some more. that is ten times. the young men you talked about
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-- [talking over each other] >> the squadron from alaska that they brought from the canals, they came over thinking it would be a party of five days. our last squadron, we flew with them but it is quite a story and you did a wonderful job. thank you. [applause] >> there were actually 600,000 people involved in the airlift if you go back to maintenance and manufacture and for those who don't know the military designations, the c 47 is what civilians called a dc-3 and the c 54 was the d.c. 4. they were all built in santa monica. >> thank you so much.
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[applause] >> each of you mentioned the united nations in your comments at one point or another and i would say in a generally positive sense. but geoffrey robinson talked more about the strength of individuals and local people, international community that really helped resolve this. what was going around in rwanda, united nations was not given high marks in resolving that issue. what is your feeling? is the united nations the right vehicle to resolve these issues when they arise? what is being done to make a more effective organization? >> i will give it a shot.
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the case of east timor does suggest a somewhat more positive role for the united nations than is commonly the case. i want to caution anybody from thinking i am making a general argument that the united nations always does a good job. one of the points i try to make in the book is one of the reason there was action by the united nations in 1999 in east timor was in part because of the memory of the abysmal failure of the united nations in rwanda and stroke in each of. this was on everybody's mind who was working within the united nations. there was an acute consciousness of the potential for this you and mission to go the same way to resolve in a genocide so that historical memory played on
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people's conscience and made them do things they might not have done. i also want to emphasize that the united nations is too simple to speak of the united nations as a kind of monolith. there are many different dimensions and bodies within the u. n. what we usually mean when we criticize the un is the security council because it has a difficult time agreeing on anything and as a consequence the principles and ideals of the united nations charter are not given effect. at least that is what appears to be the case. this instance in east timor was one in which there was unanimity within the security council that some kind of intervention was required and that intervention came and stopped the violence. what i would stress in this case is it would not have happened had it been left to the deliberations of major powers
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within the united nations. it happened because those powers were held to account by their own citizens. there were massive demonstrations, there was massive media pressure. there were people from their own countries in the heart of the storm in the line of fire and it was that political pressure on those countries, on metal and albright, that forced their hand and made them act in a way that stopped the violence. left to their own devices without that kind of intervention from ordinary people or that pressure from their own citizens i would venture to say that nothing would have been done. my endorsement of vote you and is couched in a great deal of caution. >> i want to go back to the beginning. the berlin airlift was resolved in the u. n and the way it happened was joseph stalin did not give interviews but he would
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occasionally answer written questions. the chief correspondent of the hearst newspapers named kings' barry smith submitted six questions to stalin. one of those questions -- several -- a couple of the questions referred to the airlift but the answers as they were published in the papers and read by dean acheson and secretary of state was that stalin had not mentioned currency reform in his answers and currency reform, the americans bringing in new currency for the old dying currency was the immediate trigger point the soviet cited and yet he didn't mention that in that interview and a year later. philip jesup was a deputy air
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u.s. -- he was friendly with the soviet ambassador in the men's room. jesup said we noticed your leader didn't mention currency. was that deliberate? he said i don't know. he went back and four weeks later came back and said it was deliberate. which we took as them crying uncle and it was negotiated out of the you and the creation of nato, establishment of the federal republic of germany. but without the un, where else do you go? >> we will take a final question. >> i don't think any of us are loving supporters of everything the u. n does. the un is really bad at war.
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i may be wrong but they have rarely used force in history. beyond a peacekeeping since there are better at cleaning up and peacekeeping although they are not great. rwanda was a horrible example of how the un and in my view failed. 900,000 people were killed in three months. >> we were not totally not responsible for that. >> that was almost 10,000 a day for 90 days. even kosovo, the bombing campaign that was kosovo was conducted by nato. being really pushed hard by bill clinton at the time. was not a you and exercise. having said all that there is moral authority to the blue flag. in my office i have a blue flag under my desk and people came in
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on a regular basis, almost a constant basis complain about atrocities that we tried to deal with. around the world it is a beacon. there is no other game in town. >> let's hear our final question. >> my name is joanne from east timor. thank you for writing the book. i am talking from 1975 from 1979, there were 200,000 people killed out of 800,000 in the population. i am a little bit nervous. you are writing about iraq. prior to that, going to australia to ask austria to intervene. what happened? in the conflict i was there. there is no word to describe what happened. if you were in that situation
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there is no word. 99-2002 the un was there so east timor was under the un. is it the enough to officially hand over the government in 2002 until recent conflict in 2006, and 2008 reflect that. what do you see as the future of east timor? >> thank you very much. [applause] thank you for your question. a i should start by saying i remain an optimist. people who have followed east timor through the darkest years of the 80s and 90s when most of the major powers and media outlets said forget about it, east timor will never be free,
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people who stuck with that game had to be optimistic and above all east timorese who showed this extraordinary coverage, a country waging a campaign of resistance. by that point largely peaceful resistance against a giant of a country of two hundred million people, indonesia and its occupying army for 24 years having suffered genocide and yet they continued to insist on their independence. the fans for this outcome of east timor's independence is the people. not primarily with the un or anybody else. having said that, it is true that since east timor voted for independence in 1999 and had a transitional administration until 2002 and formal independence came, since that time east timor has had some trouble.
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there was an attempted assassination of both leaders, there was a group set up in the hills that tried to destabilize the government. there have been questions of corruption and political violence and more displacement and having said all of that, i remain incredibly impressed and optimistic about east timor's future because when one considers the past it has been through it is extraordinary how well the country is doing. it has had two democratic elections, political power has changed from one party to another, it has a system for managing oil and natural gas in an incredible and non corrupt way. it is a remarkable achievement by the un and the people of east timor. i have some apes with the president but we can talk about that later. >> i would like to thank our panelists for a fascinating
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discussion. [applause] and to direct everyone to the north signing area if you would like to buy the books and have them sign. thank you. >> please exit t through the rear. please go to the north side area. that seems when you exit the room go to your right. to the end of this building make anotheright and look to your left and you will see the north signing area. thank you so much for your cooperation. ..
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on the campus of ucla. and as you can see a lot of activity here at the festival of books. "los angeles times." about 130,000 people expected to be here over the next two days coming up in about half hour is the next panel which is history, the struggle for a better tomorrow.
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a lot of activity going on. we thought we would spend a few minutes talking to you about what you would like to see on book tv. this is your chance to call and tell us what you think about the programming, or you would like to see nonfiction authors. 202 is the area code if you live in the east and central time zones 585385. if you the donato and pacific time, 585386. go ahead and dial in. we will be talking with different folks during this 20 minutes or so and start here. at one of the booths operated by the william corporation in fact and they also are a publisher of books. and this is jim, the director of strategy and outreach for the rand corporation. what kind of books do you publish? >> rand is a nonprofit institution. our mission is to improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. we publish about 1,000 titles a year and become available in
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hard copy and it is a public service available for free download online. the publishing is about ten different subject areas that include health and health care, education and families, foreign policy and more. >> a couple of the titles i will show and have you explain them directly. this is one of your titles, "dangerous but not of that exploring the powers in the middle east." >> we have a variety of middle east policy expert at rand and this particular study is looking at the extent of the iranian power and what the u.s. can do to help minimize adverse affect to the united states. sprick there are several different authors listed. can you give a brief outline of what kind of authors write these books? >> sure. rand researchers come from a wide diversity of expertise. we have political scientists, economists, social scientists, and what differentiates rand as a think tank is that we use a
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multidisciplinary approach to tackle all of our problems so that our analysis is comprehensive. >> another current issue in the news, counterinsurgency in afghanistan. >> yes, jones is based out of the washington office. he is a world-renowned expert on issues and afghanistan. he may in fact be their right now. he travels there a lot and this particular book as with all of his books reflects the experience on the ground working with people in the region. >> in fact set jones has appeared on booktv on several locations and you would like to watch any of seth jones talking about his books you can go to and do a search right at the top of the home page. just type in herseth jones and you will be able to find his presentations on booktv. another book we want to talk about, cyber deterrence and cyber war. >> yes, a very big topic. it's anticipated that now and in the future much of the attacks against the united states may be
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in cyberspace. it's a different kind of war and this book talks about what the u.s. can do to be prepared for that kind of attack. >> a lot of people don't know that you are headquartered here in southern california. >> we are. rand has been headquartered in santa monica also we do have eight offices around the world in washington, d.c. but also rand europe and offices in cambridge and brussels. >> how are you fund it? >> rand is a nonprofit institution. clients on the the work and we also have philanthropists who also support the work to improve public policy. >> and the government is one of your biggest clients, eckert? >> the government support our work on some projects and in addition we work for government are not the world. >> finally we want to talk of this book invisible world of war. >> this is a study done by the center for health policy research and looks at the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other psychological
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impediments of men and women returning from the conflict in afghanistan and iraq. >> we've been talking with jen gould of the speed corporation to lead people to read their books where is the best place to go? >> definitely go to we are nonprofit so it is and you can find more information about all of r books and download them for free. >> thanks. moving on what show the crowd coming through the festival of books here at the "los angeles times" again we want to hear from you at this point. would you like to see on booktv. (202)585-3885 for the east and central time zones and 585-386 for the montanan pacific time zone. chicago, what are you thinking? chicago, are you with us? >> caller: yes. yes. hello? >> all right. now i can hear you.
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go ahead, chicago would you like to see on booktv? >> caller: i would like to see also abraham verthse, and the author of my home country. >> thank you very much. i have seen two authors while we were talking with jen gould at the speed corporation. in fact to authors walked by and disappeared. bruce who ran for the samet walked by and dean who has written a couple books recovered walked by. they both disappeared spew we want to move in and we want to talk to another booth. if you've watched any of the book tv coverage you have probably see us at the book superstore it is called book suit. it's on central boulevard in l.a. and we are going to talk to the manager here over at book soup, and we will get him in
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just a minute as we take this next call from california about 10 miles from where we are right now. hello. >> is this book tv? >> i'm sorry? >> is this >> if you can hold i'm afraid we are not printable to hear you right now so we are going to move on and talked to the manager of book soup. hi, tell us your name. >> my name is charles. >> and what do you do at book soup? >> i and the book manager. >> tell us about book soup which relates to the washington, d.c. politics and prose. >> i think so in a short story. they are obviously much more political bookstore and we are but i think the reputations are the same and the size is about the scene and customer base. >> and so how is it that you are surviving as an independent bookstore? are you fighting for survival in cash? >> we are surviving. it is a combination of location. we've agreed location on the
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sunset strip. wonderful client base very loyal to the store and stocking great books. you have to have great books. you have to have something that drives people to the store. some are you l.a. centric? >> yes, it's very eliason to -- >> much like politics and prose is d.c. centric? >> yeah. >> how do the political books sell out here? >> they are incredible selling very well. >> i don't think we've ever sold a headline book ever. >> do you even stock and? >> we do. yes. we have to. >> but you just don't sell them? >> we don't sell them, not really, no. >> how long have you been in business and who is the owner? >> 1975. the original owner passed away about a year ago and we were purchased by another independent bookstore right around the corner. >> how many author evin st hold? you get good attendance? >> we get great attendance. we have one a day if not more
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than one a day. there are a lot of books being published so it's easy. >> thanks for spending a few minutes with us. book soup in west hollywood on sunset boulevard. the next call on what he would like to hear on booktv or si on book tv comes from paradise, texas. go ahead, paradise. >> caller: i would like to see something like if you could do a retrospective on fiction and nonfiction we might [inaudible] the pieces on the senate or the white house, you know, like maybe take an hour to do a retrospective of their lives. >> thanks for the idea. it's a great idea a lot of the authors we have covered over the 11, nearly 12 years of book tv have passed and are all available. they are all available at use the search function of the top of the home page.
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do kimmage the presentations. in fact come to light after the live coverage of the l.a. times book festival we will be going to door the heights of the civil rights activist who just passed away this week at the age of 98. she was on booknotes in 2003 for her books and we will be following a live coverage of l.a.p.d. as we continue -- fellows -- as we continue to walk down i.t. we are heading to the nation's book and as we what we are going to take this next call from redding california. go ahead, redding. >> caller: hi, think you for taking my call. i would very much like to see the books from the barnes magazine. we've got dozens of books with a credible integrity. i think people missed very much in the main street. i hope he will check it out and good lk. thank you very much. >> tell us what are you reading right now? >> caller: right now i am
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reading a book written by an american born and do [inaudible] it is a political book that includes everybody. it's a very interesting book. it's a very intelligent and has to be carefully read in order to get anything out of it i think. >> all right. thanks for calling in. michigan. hi, michigan. >> caller: you are giving a great job. [inaudible] i would like to see more of the ethics foundation which leads us into the specific issues. right now i'm reading the basic writings of the bertrand russell and i am -- a lot of influence
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on today. >> thanks very much. and next up just south of here about 40 miles south of here is an irvine, california. and in orange county, irvine what would you like to see on booktv and by the way what are you reading right now? >> caller: actually i am interested in reading a new book by christopher mer it. i believe she is there signing books today at the city press both number 334. coming out tomorrow. but he's written a book about -- and i wonder if he will be talking to anybody at their press today. we are enjoying the coverage getting prepared for business tomorrow. >> good, stop by. the c-span boss is here. we are handing out book bags we would love to have you stop by and say how you are going to be here tomorrow.
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hopefully the camera man is currently the university of california bookstore looking around a little bit. it is california centric and that is one of the things we tried to do during this festival is have a lot of california-based authors. we talked to the california-based authors and coming up we are going to doing a call-in program with charles class mer, cultural of fear. he's at usc so there's another california-based author. one of the if it is coming out is the chance to check with all these authors also charles kessler of the review will be doing a call-in in just a few minutes. kokomo indiana. good afternoon to you. >> caller: good afternoon. i would like to see on booktv some features that you use to have in recent years but i haven't seen her lately. it's just some shorter features, some book fairs like the chicago
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book printers row book fair, some of the new book events with the antiquarian book shows and if you covered the new york city antiquarian book fair. >> we did. >> they wouldn't be long features but some of the filler pieces. >> why do you like those? >> well, with more books becoming available online through like the google books eckert, about 90-some percentage of the books i estimate are out of print and so there is a vast library if he will of books that are not available as the new books anymore and so i've always found it interesting dealers seem to have an interesting perspective and they can show you featured books signed by authors and tell interesting stories about the books and how they found them.
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>> so, kokomo, what are you reading right now? >> i just picked up a book called quote code insect societies," by rand wilson. i believe he featured him. >> yes we did. really interesting, wasn't he? >> his answer to the question what should i do about ants in my kitchen is you should watch them is what he always says to that. thanks so much. we are going to go talk to the press here which isnother booth. the word is he's keeping me and we are going to talk to -- who are we talking to here? are we talking to you? >> the publisher of polipoint. >> get your name is scott jordan. what do you publish? >> most the books on politics, current events and american
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culture. >> and here's one. "50 ways you can help obama change america." >> that's right. the work is where they can do something to change the trustee of america and politics and culture, and that is what all of our books basically do. if you just go down the line it talks about hunger in america, making the grade talks about how to reform the education testing system in america. and they said on famous american quotes you certainly want to hear what history says about us. >> where are you based? stat we are based in northern california and which is a lively publishing area for progressives. >> this book by a dean baker became a pretty big seller. how did you get him? >> dean came to us. he likes to execute his work very quickly and we publish books relatively fast, sometimes
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within a couple of months within concept to books on the shelf. sabena wanted to get the book out quickly and we were the ones to do it. >> is that your web address also? >> it is >> thanks for spending a few minutes with us. as we continue to take your calls and work our way back to the next panel which is starting in about ten minutes or so we and we want -- we want to make sure we get all of that coverage. san jose, california, would you like to see on booktv and what are you reading? >> caller: i would like to see on book tv scholars discussing issues including education and emigration and the interplay between the two big issues. for example, [inaudible] at nyu has been a number of books on the topic. dr. leo chavez at uc-irvine has about a couple of years ago, he
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has many books, but one of them was the mexican threat, which was the response to some of the anti-immigrant hysteria and a substantive research finding. dr. francis at the university of washington has a book out called the latino education crisis or the crisis in latino education. garcia who i believe is at uc santa barbara has many books on significant chicano latino leaders inin there's young scholars like maria garcia seeking refuge from mexico united states and canada [inaudible] wrote a great book called fluid workers picketed latino power against -- >> san jose, who have given us a lot to work with and we appreciate the names and appreciate the ideas. what are you reading?
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>> caller: transformation to reach activism by the brother and sister who are both scholars >> thanks for calling in. we are going to work our way back. we want to show you where the c-span's bus is. it's close to haines hall. as we walk through the center of the festival you can see it is a perfect california day here and that in just a few minutes the next panel is starting and that's called "a struggle for a better tomorrow richard rainer a break and better place is his book, miriam porth and struggle and chavez farm worker movement is one of the authors and not fit for the society immigration and nativism in america. those are the three authors that will be on that panel. the next call comes from cincinnati. hello, cincinnati. >> caller: hello.
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i have a request, not exactly a book a few years ago you ran the once a week series on each president. >> the american presidency raise on c-span. >> the was wonderful. >> mark for farkus put that together. >> caller: i love it. right now i am reading forgotten heroes, it is 141 that got the honor and my husband was in the caribbean or mexico interested in that. but on a watch all of the c-span since i retired and i would love to hear the series from again on the president. i'm sorry i of the cold. >> know you sound great. thanks and as you know that
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ceres is available online at or you can go to but the entire series is available. it did win a peabody award. mark farkus put that together and we hear a lot about that. that was done in 1999, so that was golly of 11 years ago was how long that was done. tiffany you might remember from last year works with us on booktv. i want to ask her what she is currently bidding. she's holding up the phone calls. you can see where i am getting the phone calls from you all through the high-tech drawee race board. what are you reading? >> caller: i'm actually not reading anything right now because i just bought a house so all of my time has been spent and packing boxes and moving. >> this is the first time ever you are not reading something. some days. i'm going through with drought. >> tiffany watches all the programs before they go on air how on book tv. a program that he watched last week that he found intriguing. >> actually it just aired
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before. it was silent cal's almanac. i was telling that calvin coolidge was the president i never learned about in school. we kind of skipped over in and went straight to fdr's why naturally found it absolutely fascinating. i would recommend that to people. >> with the shades, too mother california. let's stop and chat we have a few more calls. eugene, oregon, you have been patient. what would you like to see on booktv? >> caller: i would like to see more on the topic of ballistics and cognitive science and behavioral evolutionary economics. the reason i'm calling is i would really like to see booktv in prime time during the week. it's a great alternative to other garbage tv. >> now have you seen what we have done prime time? >> caller: yes. yes -- yes i think you should do that all the time or writing to need another channel. i love what you provide.
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>> thanks a lot. thanks for watching. we sure appreciate it. then salem, pennsylvania. good afternoon to you. >> caller: i enjoy everything you do. hello? >> hi. >> caller: high. i really enjoy everything you do. i especially like the history panels i love the life events. this event today is so exciting. i feel like i'm there. it's wonderful. >> it is important to you that they beef life? >> caller: if they are good and can be recorded that there is something about seeing you and knowing that this is taking place right now. it's just sort of exciting. i remember connie duboise i think her name was comegys to get so excited when she would cover a life book fair.
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i really liked her enthusiasm. but i think that the life agents are excellent, and this year these that the library is wrong, the 92nd street library in new york, the of really interesting people. and you have one or two during a season i would love to see them all and i assure you could go all over the country to those wonderful series. >> did you go down to the philadelphia festival last weekend? >> caller: no, i didn't, but i have gone down to the library for many of the author events and enjoyed them jury much. all i saw molly ivins the night that he photographed the lecture. >> great. and in fact, you know, -- thanks for calling. a new biography came out on a small the negative and you can watch that online at it just came out. she passed a couple of years ago and it was quite a lightly even if i remember correctly. we want to introduce you very quickly to meredith who works
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with our i don't know, publicity department. we will find out. mer if i'm going to interrupt. i apologize. what do you do that c-span? >> i work for the education department. stat what are you doing out here today? >> we are here helping c-span booktv and the coverage that we have for people that are interested to the estimate and you are handing out that as? >> bags and we also have the book tv alert as well as literature to help people understand what book tv is if they are not familiar. >> people to sign up for book tv, they can get this ritual every week? >> did, every week if they sign up for booktv alert they will get an e-mail that gives them a run down for the programming during the weekend. >> how is the crowd? >> am i ghosh we are slammed. and the bags are huge hit p leggitt >> we do have a good size crowd everywhere we go. that's good. that is also working. rachel cats with less staff is also here and you can see the crowd outside year. we have got a few minutes left but it before the next panel.
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and we took to life. here is haines hall. you can see the call-in set in front of it. here is where the panels are held. part was born again what would you like to see on booktv? >> caller: yes, i would like to see more on of the crimes they've committed. we hear about the camps of the holocaust and stuff i would like to hear about the camps soviet russia and more like that count on that kind of stuff. >> milwaukee wisconsin, and you are on booktv. what would you like to see? >> caller: i would like to see books that focus on black negative planet rates and i would like to see books whic focus on how to end high homicide rates in the black community. >> what are you reading right now? >> caller: i am reading a book, a buddhist book called
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quote polk intimate life,". >> what do you do for a living? >> teacher. schogol right, thanks for calling. we sure appreciate it. denver, colorado. denver, would you like to see? by the weak and the denver comedy you ever go down to the tattered cover bookstore 2-cd author e vince? >> yes, but the speakers, like rick atkinson and the people of history i certainly do. >> sure. all right. what would you like to see on booktv? >> caller: i would like to see tim negative and also to the traps wrote a book on the life span of the fox company, james carville nelson, the remains of company b, and one sort of a sad chapter called after the bike of a british historian called
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mcdonald and bill shimon darkest summer. i enjoy when you have your historical and military people speak. >> welcome as you know, i appreciate your meeting of those. we did cover tim eagens most recent book, quote koza big bird." what to introduce you to one of the producers of booktv. he's one of the producers who looks at the titles coming in. he's on the phone right now working, but he looks at all the titles coming in andecommend this coverage of them. what is an upcoming title that you would like to tell about that's coming up that you have seen coming for your desk? >> well, peter, we are excited about being your the l.a. times book festival and there's one thing we are talking about and we are not sure if we are going with it or not, but i'm actually reading a book by carvel called matter horn, it is an account of the vietnam war back and i am getting a notice that we go away so we are going to go
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away. >> thank you. the next panel has started. this is a struggle for a better tomorrow. after that a call-in with gary glanner >> i'm privileged to get to interview. i'd wait to talk about it analysts. peter screen to be the first person up. he wrote not fit for the society, immigration and made the seven america. it is a book of deep telling irony that provide essential background for understanding the hot-button debate we have going on right now over immigration that was just maybe even more dramatic yesterday by the findings of the arizona bill allowing law enforcement to stop people what will and check their immigration status. peter's book covers the earliest stages of the public up through the current defense and he looks in and sets the stage for the
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aggressive controversy of today by looking at how this debate over who has the right to be here has been something that we have been struggling with since the first centuries. we have had a debate over the same questions about who six ackley is fit for citizenship and he finds that made it is some has long colored the national history of the fear and loathing of the newcomers could provide one of the fault lines of american culture and political life. peter was the longtime editorial page editor and columnist for "the sacramento bee." he now writes the nation harpers and the l.a. times and as a visiting scholar at the institute for governmental studies at uc-berkeley and the author of a point of books that take on big issues like the nation's school system high-stakes experiment that is california itself.
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then the next to peter we have richard rayner, the offer might of a breed and guilty pleas, murder, corruption and police scandals coming of age. in peters but he talks about when l.a. was the fastest growing city in the world mad with fever get rich quick schemes, celebrity scandals and religious fervor. it was also light during the twenties and early 30's with organized crime and how to measure in the pockets and the dea taking bribes to read and a guilty pleas, richard mer rates the intertwined lives of two men, dave clark and leslie twice. richard was born east british but lived in los angeles 20 years. he's a novelist and short story writer and journalist who writes
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for the new yorker, was angeles times, esquire, the guardian. he's now turned his literary skills towards research on nonfiction but he's also the author of the men wore the blue suit and the novels the cloud skip chiarelli without a map and the devils win. and next to me is miriam pawel cesar chavez farmworker union. a generation of americans can of age, myself included, boycotting and swept up in a movement accomplished the unthinkable and dignity and contract for workers. for decades later cesar chavez postage stamps and schools and streets and durham renamed it in his honor. i regularly drive on cesar
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chavez boulevard but the real story of the farm workers movement built its historic and tragic disintegration has remained very high for years beyond hagiography from an amazing treasure trove of original documents and tapes and we were talking about what it was like to start going through the tapes of these meetings. she chronicles the rise during the heady days of the civil rights struggles and she also shows how and a lot of ways it came apart and it didn't live up to it's amazing potential for all of the miracles that it accomplished. through the lives of several key members of the crusade using their stories to weave together a powerful portrait of a movement and the people who made. miriam was a longtime reporter and editor at first string
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tuesday as the state house reporter and bureau chief and then for the l.a. times whereas the editor in charge of local coverage she shepherded reporters to the two pulitzers and then was reassigned as a special project reporter and rode a series about the united farm workers which kicked up a lot of dust. it began to recover slowly and open the door for the conversation in a way that nothing else has. more recently she was in the alisa patterson fellow and john jacobs fellow at the berkeley institute of governmental studies. so, here are the wonderful panelists and i am going to start the conversation with peter come and peter just to open it up i would like to know how you came -- you have written about a lot of things, you know, and you do keep looking at these and now you have taken on one of the largest issues we have in america which is the issue of immigration and nativism and
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what we are seeing on cable television is this is one of the hot-button issues of the day so first of all, how did you come to decide that you were going to spend the years it takes to do a book and choose this and what did you find that point beyond itself to suggest for how we might address these issues now when you looked at this history of immigration and nativism? >> well actually five years ago when i started work on this book i knew that yesterday jim brewer would sign that bill. [laughter] so people tell me that my timing was exquisite. as you know, journalists while the rest of the world suffers, journalists thrive. >> well it helps to plan ahead like that. >> i am basically a journalist but to get serious think you all for coming it is a very important subject with.
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i've been writing as an editor to be and then as a columnist over the last meeting 25 years about immigration related issues not specializing in then but they keep coming back and going back to the immigration reform act of 1986 than a proposition 87 in 1994, which sought to deny all public service to illegal immigrants in california proposition 209 on affirmative action, proposition 227 of reducing or trying to eliminate the education in california, and as i was writing about that i kept running into the echo of the past and more and more i was tripping over things that were said 100 years ago, 200 years
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ago, sometimes 300 years ago that echoed with what was going on now. you all know about the know nothing see and you probably -- you may not have heard two of the strong guest anti-immigration voices in the last generation was samuel huntington formerly political science professor now deceased at harvard and victor davis hanson now is as yet it mostly with the hoover institution stanford and both talk about the problem of language and can we begin to understand each other when half of us speak spanish and half of us speak english and so on. and i tripped over this interesting little factoid that in the year 1741 benjamin franklin than in pennsylvania of
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course complained that and worried about the fact that what he called the germans coming and swiss coming into pennsylvania were going to germanize pennsylvania so the pennsylvanians would not be able to talk to each other because half would be speaking german and half would be speaking english. so this is not a new theme in our history. interestingly enough, he later then changed his mind as early as 1821 pennsylvania legalized bilingual education in german and english in to the commonwealth of pennsylvania so we have had a lot of that and in fact we had a fair amount of bilingual education in the midwest and elsewhere until world war i when they were against all things german and
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stopped. for me the immediate trigger to make a very precise long answer very precise question and a long answer -- >> by the way the fact that we have bilingual education and then stopped it starts off as these urges. >> but the immediate trigger that got me going seriously in this book was tom tancredo whose name was maybe once a household word and is no longer, tom tancredo was a member of congress from covering conservative, ran briefly for the republican nomination for president in 2000 and 2008, 2007, 2008. and was the leader of the congressional caucus to restrict and in all immigration.
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and then left congress after 2008 and tom tancredo took a great deal about his italian what he called the italian grandfather who came here as what he said was a legal immigrant along the turn of the last century. of course of the turn of the last century almost everybody was a legal immigrant because there was no restriction on muscular chinese on legal immigration unless you had some terrible disease or you were visibly crazy or something of that sort. so but anyway, but that at that time what was said about people like his italian southern italian grandfather was actually sicilian word the same things that were said now for the last few years about that particularly about mexicans that they are prone to crime and they are hard to educate and the
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disease, that they are feeble mind it and that was true not just of southern italians but of course of greeks, slavs, jews and irish and german and so long. so all of those things began to designate in my mind about the similarities of what was going on now in terms of the rhetoric of anti-immigration rhetoric and what was going on than so i think i will stop there to give -- >> so but before we move on from here one of the things i found shocking in your book is among a lot of revelations is the fact that liberal progressive reformers like margaret sanger, the founder of planned parenthood and early feminists like victoria what hall were unbelievable the conservatives. they were interested in poor
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sterilization thought we ought to breed superior people and that gave them a particular point of view on the immigration and native issues and that singer was close to a savage nativist and racist and all-around low them some guy named harry pratt wrote things like the melting pot and alien in the next, lovely fellow, but have made a fine fiction writer. so what were some of the discoveries use of there were these repeating themes that they were having now, the verbiage -- what shocked you when you started -- that was shocking to me. what were the things the surprised you? >> this grew on me gradually and i'm not sure there was any particular thing that shocked me. it all organically grew on me
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but to follow on what you said. >> you had a margaret sanger moment. >> margaret sanger did surprise me although it had been known for some time that margaret sanger was very close to some eugenics and was a big thing in this country particularly in the state by the way in the early three and a half decades of the last century and there were a lot of eugenic sterilizations, involuntary sterilizations and eugenics and you genic ideas underlay a great deal of the immigration law ways that were passed in this country in the 1920's because we had all of these studies, again actually listing the ethnicities by various characteristics and of course that was supposed to be inherited and they were genes
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that make you inferior or crazy or made you a criminal. that was all of course built into the big national origin immigration act of 1924 and which by the way was on the books until the 1960's and of course it was in california the big focus was on asians so we were very ambivalent about asians. the chinese exclusion act was passed in 1882 but then of course there were a whole series of things in the state including the act the was passed in early in the last century that sought to exclude japanese and owning land on the theory that japanese could never be naturalized and
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therefore would not be allowed to own homeland in the state and then of course there was the growing antimexican movement in the state as well particularly in for 30 is during the the depression but i am getting too far ahead of myself. >> i will come back to you but definitely if you want a better grasp on what we are dealing with today in terms of immigration, the complexity of immigration this is definitely the but you want to pick up so we will come back. i want to jump next to richard. you said something really interesting in your book and give, dak 28 in addition to your book's main characters, david clarke and leslie and some of the amazing peripheral characters the city of los
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angeles itself as a character if not the main character in your book and you write that this period of the late 1920's until the early 1930's is when the city's personality was fixed. i love that you kind of supply a developmental psychology to the city of los angeles but it is such an intriguing fault and i wonder if you talk to the audience about why you feel that happened and what is as a personality of los angeles van and also now that theoretically to continue to use the the telemental analog that now that we are more grown-up what does that say and that shaping say about the personality of los angeles now? >> how i got into writing about this stuff is that i was invited
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by various magazines to do reporting on the kind of current issues and the start with the idea of the riots which led to doing a lot of stuff for "the new york times" about police scandal sand ramparts and riding around in the back of cop cars which of course is quite fun and also doing a series of pieces for the magazine about illegal immigration and all of that reportorial of brann -- what los angeles is like now are getting to know the place which had come as a forerunner and the great thing for me about these disasters like the riots of the earthquake or the watching
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someone dying in front of your eye is which is of course grassley but seemed to make the city real for me and help explain to myself how it is that los angeles makes me feel very uneasy in some ways. [laughter] >> even after 20 years and raising your kids here. >> right. and in a bright and guilty pleas i try to trace back the origins of and whether the sentence that you read from the book is true or not i don't know. i do believe that something was fixed in l.a. as the boom of the 20's faded into the depression and i think that is because if
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you look at the kind of growth, the population growth in l.a. we are talking about 300,000 or so in 1910, 550,000 or so in the 1920's, 1.2 million or so in. so at that moment in time los angeles is the fastest-growing city in the world that is literally true and it sort of comes to the economic boom of the 20's obviously and if you go downtown to the angels flight everyone has this idea that the past in l.a. isn't there but actually it really is three if you look for it just lead over in the same way that it's like over in london or new york or helsinki or whatever and if you go to the top and look down over
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downtown you will see all of the 1920's buildings like hundreds and hundreds of them that were shot out in the economic boom of the 20's and downtown as the city spread out tentacle like from that it essentially durham and architecturally the same. those buildings are there. so what i was looking for was to kind of trace back the kind of mood and unease that i feel and asked us to have something to do with the nature of the plague, and i think it does and what i got into the in researching the book were going into the kind of background of the characters who were in the foreground is a certain of these discovery in a way that certain structures of
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patents of the types of things that happen in los angeles back then still occur today in other words the -- it is because the city grew so quickly and i think in many ways it has a kind of small-town political structure still and if you look at these powerful organizations like the dw p for the l.a.p.d., the problems that they have now, that all began back then. it does all put in place in the 19 teens and 20s. >> say more about that. by the way i always tell my journalism students that l.a. city and county government is like high school but a lot more at stake. welcome to take the l.a.p.d.
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traditionally the l.a.p.d. has always had a smaller manpower than other big areas and far fewer cops per head of population than the boston or chicago and i think if you look at the -- >> so the command and control became the model. >> right. and to get the 20's, the city hall and the underworld and the kind of lawyers who represent celebrities who get involved in things which celebrities still do now, did then as now, they were all very close together and that meant that in the case of
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the l.a.p.d. the l.a.p.d. had corruption problems which is to say that one moment in the 1930's if you were a gangster and wanted one of your guys to become an l.a.p.d. police captain the price was $500. >> and yet the one thing that for the scandal and the decree and macarthur park the one thing that the l.a.p.d. is not known for its fiscal corruption as one member of the stuff once said to me we might beat you up but we are not known for taking your wallets. what you covered is phenomenal scandals and we do sense that there is stuff going on under
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the surface, there is corruption. people are starting as we talk that people had never thought about the passengers just paying their utility bills they are starting to go wait a minute, you know, something is going on here that what are you seeing in terms of that sort of dark and the like squealing together in los angeles city and county government where are you seeing the echo of that today? >> i think the cops when you ride around with them that was the thing that you hear that now we may be violent but we are not corrupt and the reason that is said is that until 1940 the l.a.p.d. basically was very fiscally corrupt and there was the most kind of entrenched system and the whole of the united states and the reform who reaction against that then led
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through chief parker and gates to the sort of we are going to model ourselves more on the military to try to put that behind us and i think that statement is really kind of defensive. and i feel that my experience of riding around with those guys and seeing the ramparts at close hand which did get kind of blood out of proportion to some extent was nonetheless that they were sort of an individual. there were certainly some cops on the tape one way or another and not that that is unusual in any urban environment. i think in the case of the bddp and what we see now is it was just kind of fascinating that i don't know that there is another city where the dw p just has the
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power that it has in l.a.. >> it's extraordinary. sprick it has to do if the history of water and the fact that we basically don't have any and have had to take it from elsewhere and you see all of that problem which was kind addressed in various successful dangerous ways by mahlon through the 19 teams and 1920's that that is all still very much wetter and we are just noticing it at this moment. >> this is just a quick question and then i have one more after this. did you like los angeles more or less after what you discovered in writing a bright and guilty pleas? stifel more in love with it or did you become -- you know, did your uneasiness growth?
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>> more. there is certain as you find out more about a place you feel warmer and the history of l.a. has become a part of me and i love the kind of goofy stuff, just the sort of one of my favorite things this really could only be here that robert blake after his wife is murdered in the restaurant his alibi is that he couldn't have shot his wife who was actually killed in the car because at the time she was shot in the car he was going back into the restaurant to get the gun that he left there. that is his alibi. >> you couldn't make stuff like that up. if you get people would be going know. >> how can you not love that. >> absolutely. which brings me to my last
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question for the moment which is you know i was at a dinner party the other night and once again somebody says well, you know, l.a. isn't really a city and i avoided trying to throttle him because he was larger than i was, but just we hear this so often and particularly here some out of towners who mostly seat los angeles in terms of the entertainment business and certain wealthy enclaves and yet you seem to have grabbed onto something and we talked a little bit about how that viewing it through the lens of who you are even in a bright and guilty pleas some of the sort of phraseology that you tone, it allows you a handle to start getting a hold of los angeles in
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a way that is so of some. i feel like you are writing about los angeles so talk about that realization where who you are pleased to a clear definition of this very city that when we don't have a lot of traffic it looks like paradise still even now. .. back to the
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1920s, a situation like any other american city at that moment in time, just a bit smaller and the city is downtown and because of the growth and the noticing of all the space and the need to connect downtown there really has no need to be there to the ocean which obviously is there, you get the boulevards and the freeways and the automobile happens. all of which is to say the argument that los angeles has with itself and many of the reasons it is a unique city and
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a fascinating city and problematic city is it is at war with being on the one hand a small nineteenth century american city which then became the kind of city that no one had ever known before. the fascination of what l.a. is lies in the arguments about historical phenomenon. >> what the panel's address either specifically about los angeles or california and even though i know peter is out to the whole country, and in tents problem. is it here in l.a. the personal social problems for all the countries facing, if you can make here it is anywhere but if
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you solve it here. with that, i will segway over to miriam powell with union of their dreams to hold up books. here is richard's fabulous guilty place. before miriam worked on this book she did a very well-known, will receive, badly received too series in the los angeles times on the present-day united farm workers union. and in the book, you did this series that made people really mad and it is a wonderful
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series. then you plan to grab on to this book idea and give this moment when you went oh my gosh, what have i discovered. [talking over each other] >> the common denominator will be unsolved problems. the problems of the farm workers which were the focus of so much that became the cause in the 60s and 70s, and the l.a. times, 84 part series about how united farm workers is today and what it has become and what it has not be, and what it has not become is large scale union farmworkers. i came at this with a northeast baby boomer perspective.
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i thought the usw grew up in the boycotting great area and a lot of people today on the east coast who say we boycotted grapes and fill those problems and all the farm workers are under contract and everything is ok and i will tell you starting off that is not the case. united farmworkers today have a handful of members and they are not in good condition and in many ways they are as bad as they were. [talking over each other] >> you have two things, existing uneasily. >> part of my role as a journalist was to talk about reality and peter frag encouraged me when i began this reporting to look at the current
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state of affairs. [talking over each other] in order to understand what had become of the union and why it was not doing much -- that is the question i started within a story. if you are a student of history. history is valuable, its role in explaining the present, curious about how to -- it was writing about history and old enough to go through it viewed it as history and we are able to talk
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about it. it should be told. we are still alive. they are trying to recreate history. >> the series, any problems in the current, the book links, amazing story, that was stumbled upon. this is the story. [talking over each other] to have an e. epiphany and say there were events in the 70s and
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80s directly connected to explain that. it is just about what happened 30 years ago and in researching those stories. the small piece of history in the present. >> it is a sound crafted. >> as i got into this, we came to see the book, a historical account and narrative and collective biography of people in the social movement and people who came to gather at a remarkable point in time,
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astonishing that it is a very inspiring story, the changes were short-lived and fell apart. the people around him and drawn to this movement and and what he inspired as a leader, from classrooms and ministers, put together the people, they were literally haunted by things that happened 30 years ago which they had not talked about for the most part. the question to them was what went wrong and why did we fail to achieve what we thought we could. could i have done something differently? could we have changed the course of history? what was really going on?
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it is like the blind man and the elephant where each person feels a different part of the element is a different animal. as i met people i realized that was very much the case in terms of the history they lived through so they each saw their part of the story and they really had no sense of how it fit into the larger picture. it was a role i could play to give police to their story and be the person who found the answers to how this fits together. the other thing that struck me and made me want to write the book is i have yet to meet anyone who works in the 1960s and 70s even for a brief amount of time who does not view it as the most important thing in their lives which transformed them.
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they will say uniformly, if they had not done this. yet they don't know what happened. i wanted to understand what the power of the movement was. it is really about people who learned about social change and a way in which people who were the poorest and least empowered people in the state were able to exchange certain remarkable accomplishments and about heros 1/2 feet of clay and social movements and when you are caught up and questions the book really explained about the history of what happened. and relevant to those who understand about social change. >> and the structure of social movements. it brings up a couple questions.
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>> you could have just done a chronology where you show the chronology of the development of the united farm workers movement and where it started to run its trouble and the victories and problems but instead you did an interesting thing. you told this story through the lens of eight people, like a lettuce cutters, farmworker, teacher, administrator, so you got the blind men, each one of them described a part of the elephant and it is an interesting structure, something that is underused. how did you decide to make that
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-- use that structural strategy rather than the more expected chronology? >> the people who draw you into the story, that is what i thought would draw readers into the book and my hope was to use my journalistic training and my narrative writing skills in order to really make you feel these people's wives and experience it through them. and each of them has a trajectory as a young person, goes through thing that emerges as somebody different and shows two other things, it shows a different world that came together to make the movement and that collaboration is important in terms of success. that you had the church, lawyers and farm workers, all of those combinations. that combination was what allowed it to achieve success so
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each of that is a great story. things happened to them. they are dramatic stories and they are an archetype for the kinds of people who came into this world. the other reason i did it that way was i wanted to preserve the blind man and the elephant ideas so you see each person fought from their own perspective and as an omniscient narrator reader you see how the pieces are fitting together and the way they do not is a piece of story. >> it allows us to go through this journey of discovery with you. you said the people were dying to talk after 30 years because they didn't quite know what happened. at the end of the process of working with you, did you find they had a better feeling of
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what happened to them or -- we are not self reflective about our own process. in the course of questioning people people start discovering things about their own thought processes, it was put together. did you see that happen? >> for a lot of people who shot this off and not thought about it, they start their own peace. all of the quotes in the book are taken from tapes, were written at the time.
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all these wonderful archives and private collections, and they were able to go back and have -- figure out what it was. they went through this, and a godlike figure. [talking over each other] >> children of the people in the book, and almost to a person, major characters, and parents never talked about this. >> you have given us the guest.
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>> it is perfect. go for it. >> did you talk to cardinal mahony? >> i wonder if he would be available to what extent his own attitudes about immigrants and latinos came from that experience. >> secretary to the -- and the farm workers movement. and government farm worker elections and unionize in a way that no other state -- [talking over each other] >> his experience and
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involvement with the movement, the view on immigration. >> a quick question. it is interesting that you are someone who said go for it. she got a lot of people mad. >> that was part of my job as a journalist, leverett people mad. [talking over each other] >> why did you push her and what was important. >> i read the places, a were terrific pieces. there has to be a book in some way. they were not a book at that point.
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i had the sense that we it was an incredibly important chapter for lots of reasons including another -- jerry brown. jerry brown comes back again -- [talking over each other] >> may trade on this. [talking over each other] >> i watched it go on. california events in the 70s, we watched some of this going on and i was a great boycotters at that time. [talking over each other] >> you still look at
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suspiciously. [talking over each other] >> it was a hard thing in modesto. >> our relationship -- >> they were terrific pizzas. may be represented a major chapter in california. >> in looking at what you looked at in a bright and guilty place. corruption and one of the other big pieces in california history is our immigrant movement and it is very much a part of all the other things you dealt with including police and special authority and the mayor's
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relationship with immigrant community and when you look at the perspective that you have been exploring, this other element of our immigrant community, how does that figure into the character of the city that you have been exploring and to a great degree defining? >> this is getting into that question for an anecdote. the story for new york times, the subject was new york times magazine gives you big ideas, they want questions answered. the question was -- [talking over each other] >> is illegal immigration a good or bad thing? that was the question they wanted answered. i am sitting with the photographer who worked as a porter regan guy.
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when we did the cop thing was the good cop bad cop routine. i was the bad cop. then we moved on to doing immigration and we were at the border and with an immigration officer, one of the cops. a hole in the fence were clearly the place has been warned by hundreds and hundreds of guys coming through this particular spot where there was a groove in the dirt. >> just short of paved. >> and someone pops through. and the cop gets him. slaps the handcuffs on and joe says hang on a minute.
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>> wonderful photographer. >> do that again. >> that is exactly what he said. >> i got to get the shot! >> and the new york times reports what he had better obey take the handcuffs -- >> we don't feel -- >> [talking over each other] >> under again, joe gets the shot. and new york times magazine. here is the enemy i see at that moment coming fruit offense though we took a pro immigration stance. the irony of this is we are all standing there. now what do i do? >> what did he do? >> he lets the guy go.
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as far as this particular mexican immigrant is concerned he got lucky. >> good news, got let go. bad news, picture on the cover of the new york times. >> all that i took away from this was that we need them, we abuse of them the way we think about them, and use them, is endlessly conflicted and confused and for me -- >> like the city. >> it was all crystallized in that weird moment. >> i wish i had known that story. >> i have a lot more questions but i will open it up to you all because i bet you have a lot of questions for our panelists.
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if anyone does have questions please come up to the microphone. or wave your hand energetically. come to the microphone. i am told by people who are wiser than i am. >> otherwise they will be back over. >> absolutely. since i am not seeing people screaming towards the microphone -- >> could i ask -- >> right after this fantastic gentleman. >> i look forward to meeting them. i have known your reputation for many years. i am surprised that this material you are talking about is not really published by academics and when your pieces come out i asked around and many
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of them said we cannot touch it. it is radioactive. it had the smell of a hatchet peace by the wonderful l.a. times has not been a good friend of the immigrant but the problem that i see is the access to the materials that you have, are t archives available to check against and to write more? i am sure there's more stuff. >> absolutely. thank you for asking. hall of the material, he wanted people to preserve all of the material. if you talk to volunteers they will say we sent it to wayne state. wayne state in detroit has will walter luther labor library that has the archives of many unions. there are thousands of boxes, hundreds of tapes of meetings.
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i listened to close to 1,000 hours of tape recordings of the board meetings and the book is meticulously researched as well as any historian i would venture to say and has been very well-received by historians and some of my blurbs are the most prominent historians in the field. friends of mine who are historians have said nobody wanted to touch this particularly to tears, the historian. i am proud that those who endorsed the book are two of the most prominent historians in the state of california who have done work on the subject themselves. i was very careful to research it in a way that it is foot noted. every quotation in the book is foot noted. people can go back and check. it is all there. i think that is important because it is a history that
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needs to be told accurately. one of the reasons i didn't quote anyone in contemporaneously times is people probably know this but memories are very unreliable. i routinely would talk to people and ask about meetings which they would tell me they were not at and i would listen to the tape and they were at the meeting. people block things out, people forget things that are convinced they remember things in a certain way and i ultimately felt i couldn't rely on what people were telling me so it is drawn from historical documents. i talked to people about the context of what i was finding in the archives or what it looks like. i drove around a lot to look at places to be able to write in a descriptive way but all of it is research and one of the reasons nothing has been written about this for so long is nobody really wanted to touch it.
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i would take issue that i don't think the stories were a hatchet job. there has been -- it is an interesting response by the growers who figure in the book although the book is told from the perspective of a story of the people in the movement but the growers are in the book. growers really like the book. i have been invited to speak to growers. i'm the only person invited to speak to the american trade department of the afl-cio which is the port unions of san francisco which is the most aggressive labor group and the great and a tree fruits and lead which is the preeminent group of growers. the growers recognize that i am pro labor but they respect the book because of the way in which it is told and the historical documentation and because it
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says things that have not been said before. it says -- the hero has flaws and somewhat more significant flaws that need to be -- [talking over each other] >> a very well-known mexican american historian in amherst spoke about the launch of his book as well and said you go to mexico and no one has heard of caesar chavez and the line is in the field if you ask farmworkers, they think you are talking about the boxes. there is a boxer by that name. until people write about him in his fullness, warts and all, he will be relegated to historical oblivion and that should not happen. he is an extremely important figure and in order to restore him into that role which he
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should have is necessary he be written about in all of this complexity. ..
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responsible for the way that l.a. got shaped. [laughter] >> interestingly enough they are giving me a time frame him the answer that in the week. [laughter] i'm sure -- >> of course in the early history of l.a., the chandler family were vastly powerful and what they were mostly interested in doing is making loads of money and the paper until world
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war ii was an instrument at that and -- one of the great things about researching bright and guilty pleas is planning through all of the press from that period and the la times was a noticeably less well written paper at that moment u.s -- estimate to what extent it tolerate in of the corruption >> it was the what with it at that time. sprick and tolerating construction beginning writers paper but still wants to shed light on how money. you know, we are going to have to have party to delete the -- part two of the panel. we will see what we can range but thank you to the wonderful panelists you guys were great i would have us to questions for another hour. [applause]
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[applause] [inaudible conversations] >> if you would like to do the dee dee to -- meet the authors you can do so at the signing area. >> and we will be signing 3:00 of the north signing every. [inaudible conversations] >> the panel you were just watching was called the struggle for a better tomorrow. coming up at about 30 minutes is the last panel of the day called the fight for equality, three authors, miriam pawel, martin sandweiss and amy dee dee to amy louise wood. we are back live here on our site outside of speed hall with
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dr. barry glassman who is a sociologist the southern california in the los angeles area and one of his books is lled the culture of fear. dr. glassner, you wrote this book in 1999. 1999 what were we afraid of? >> in some ways a was different than now and some ways the same. if you think back to that period what will be afraid of? we were afraid of missing in terms and of shark attacks. if you look at the cable tv news that is the kind thing you would see and we were still at that point also agreed in bigger ways of school shootings. school shootings were the big issue and if you listen to what the discussion was at that time you would have thought that just about every young american male was a potential mass murderer. there was so much noise going on. there were some terrific shooting is no question about it of was serious business but the
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notion that every school was in danger and this was rampant was prevalent at the time when actually they were very rare and actually right after my book came out was the worst school shooting at columbine which truly was the worst in the nation. >> so you wrote this before but include the school shooting? >> a lot about the school shooting and in the early edition of the book because there was a lot of fear mongering. >> you updated now. it's the tenth anniversary edition put out now. what are we afraid of today? >> i think the big thing that has changed is if we look back to that period there was a lot of talk that i would call the sick society story, the notion that american society was sick and in that story there were no hero's. all of the philippines were domestic. as i said mostly young american males and the story was about the decline of a great civilization. that all changed in the american
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public conversation and discourse, it all changed in one moment. september 11 when a 2001 and then after that point you start hearing that story so much. >> why is that? >> i think a couple of things happened. most dramatically of course we were attacked from outside of the u.s. and that event was such an earthshaking event that the old fear faded away and now the story became we are in danger from outside and everything i just mentioned changed so now the villains of being a domestic or foreign, there were heroes in the new york fire department in the military and the whole story changed but some things stay the same which is a lot of these little dangerous blown out of proportion, those continue. >> since we only have about 30 minutes with dr. glassner what's but the numbers up. 20 to is the area code if you
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would like to purchase a bit in the live program. 585-3885 for those of you in the east and central time zones. 585-3886 for those in the mountain and pacific time zones. the head. we will begin taking those calls in just a minute. so, barry glassner, are we terribly afraid of terrorism today? ten years, nine years after? >> i think there are good reasons to be concerned about terrorism and the appropriate government agency police departments need to deal with it but i think the fear is out of proportion in certain ways. certainly domestically. more americans over the last four decades have been killed by being struck by lightning than by terrorists. so for us to be thinking that this is an eminent danger and especially in our kind of politics and political discourse to go so far overboard sometimes i think it is just like what we have done in the past with other scarce whether it is the communists, whether it is crime in the streets, the drug crisis,
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we have one after another and this is the latest one. we need to be prepared, no question about it this is a real danger unlike some of the earlier ones but yes i think it is very, very intense at certain periods and there is something that contributes to that like the color code. >> cultural fear what are the chapters in here? it's called black men. >> one big change many people would say over the last decade is now we have an african-american president and what some people say is so that year, the inside about african-american men must have vanished but if you actually look at it unfortunately that has not happened and even if we focus on the election, president obama won by a decisive margin but he lost the white vote by about 12% and in some southern states he received about 10% of
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the white vote so the notion that there is a change even in that election is misguided and some of the consequences of the fear of african-americans get played out routinely so when we talk out of the crisis, the banking crisis and the mortgage crisis, primm mortgages were disproportionately marketed to african-american men, african-americans more broadly. we know that. we know that there is discrimination in jury as areas that continues. there has been a lot of improvement but there is still high levels of fear among some sectors in the society. >> barry glassner economic fears a 1999 economic fear today or any time in history have we ever not have economic fear? >> well you know interestingly when i wrote the first edition of this book economic fear of the sort now we are almost nonexistent. people felt quite secure. they were not worried they were going to lose their home. they were worried some sector of losing their jobs but a different reason.
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there was a lot of downsizing, the term we don't use much anymore. there's always been economic fear. but for some sectors of the society especially the middle class they are much more intense now and based on much more reality. >> what is the point of writing this book? >> the point of writing this book. when i started writing it was going to be about something very specific which was i was shocked to see one sector of the society pregnant adolescents, teenage moms they are called were blamed for all kinds of problems pretty much any problem you could talk about at that point in american society and i'm thinking how can they be responsible for everything that is wrong. then as i started looking at it was just a tiny piece of the story. we get afraid of so many things we don't need to be so many small dangers are blown out of proportion and anxiety is the number one psychiatric disorder, psychological disorder in the country so i thought how does
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this happen, who is benefiting from this, how does it happen and can people calmed down a little bit. >> in the next ten or 15 minutes if you would like to send a tweaked to barry glassner is a reporter address. let's take some calls. austin texas you are on first with barry glassner, author of "culture of fear. >> caller: below, thanks for taking my call. i have a question for you obviously it's been awhile since the book originally came out and i'm curious how you would encapsulate how americans are fearful now in light of the fact we have as you mentioned the economic crisis, black president all that i'm kind of curious the fact we also have a much more broader internet presence and multimedia community which she would think would mean we are more informed and capable of suppressing those some unrelated fear but in addition to that there is a new-found populist sentiment which seems to be
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looking to the old fear he mentioned your of immigrants, fear of teenage pregnancy and it's kind of capitalizing on that. so the more things change the more they stay the same but i guess just to clarify do you think that there is -- to your brand this year in light of the fact we are more connected and more -- >> all right. things, dr. glassner. >> that is a great question. one thing that changed in a big way from when i first read the book to when i wrote the new edition is exactly the internet and on-line phenomenon and that has changed in significant ways and other ways hasn't changed anything because on the one hand you still have the same fear and on the other hand they get blown way out of proportion very fast so a story often false camps led the league could spread quickly and far. one place i think about in that regard is scare about vaccines if you think that during the flu
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epidemic and all the stories about how the whole society was going to be wiped out by the virus that didn't happen. a lot of those fears were countered very quickly that a lot of the scare about the vaccine had stories about consequences of the vaccine were able to spread very quickly on the internet and this happens with a lot of things. so on the one hand you can get a lot more information both reliable and unreliable very quickly but skiers can spread very fast. as blackberry glassner cannot, in case you would like to see the other seven books that he has written. next call from springfield missouri. >> caller: hello. i wanted to share personal coping skill. i get tired of being afraid so i just quit listening to tv and quit reading the fearful stories but i wanted to hear you talk
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about just the concept of fear and change as i grow older i just am very uncomfortable with the speed of change and i don't want anything to change and i am fearful of the future because of this changes and i wonder if that is at the root of the lot of anxiety. thank you. >> thank you. that's an interesting question. >> yes. one thing i want to say right away and out that is that -- and obviously i don't know the callers age range or group but one thing we find in a lot of research that is interesting and i think really important is the more scary tv, especially local tv news we're still the motto is if it leads it leaves, it could be a crime story the beginning, the community will some scary if you watch the show is very often the more that older people watch that kind of television the more afraid they tend to be and there is clear evidence people isolate themselves more in their homes
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and to go to the caller's point become more afraid of change, more afraid of all sorts of external realities and some actually the advice, while i would never say to turn off booktv there are some scary shows we probably should turn off if we are being made of freedom necessarily to switch the channel, to get a good book and do something else. >> is fear a bad thing? >> fear is a complicated thing. so we have -- you know, as animals we have an instinct, we are programmed to be fearful for good reason. for our ancestors of there was a big animal coming in would be a good idea to get away very quickly for example. so, the response is a good response. mauney question always about that is when should we have it and who is manipulating it. so if to go to the to play gave a minute ago if cable news channel or a local tv news
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channel is trying to gain ratings by hyping a scary story blown out of proportion that isn't a good use of fear. if a politician is trying to get us to vote for them and against another candidate out of fear mongering that isn't a good use of fear. that isn't why we eat salt to be fearful. >> but those are very common uses aren't they? >> extremely common usage of fiercer by and large if we want to talk about why are we afraid of their own thing so often in this country we could get the answers. the groups that raise a lot of money off of the fear mongering. i don't know what your in box looks like in e-mail or from the paper mail at home with the various groups i am on when i get a solicitation they're telling me if i don't send a check something horrible was going to happen to something i care deeply about. i subscribe to ones i don't care about so i can see how they are doing it as well and then certain sectors of the media, not broadly because actually a
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lot of the deep on the close on an immediate but some of the sectors i mentioned before and then politicians and campaigns. >> very glassner are you teaching this semester? been ekimov right now i'm doing some administrative work. >> what course is your favorite to teach? >> my favorite is any kind of course on american society so teach a variety of courses of american society but i am also interested in why americans believe and act the way they do. >> next call for barry glassner comes from san francisco. good afternoon san francisco >> thank you, peter. actually it was the question of the spring to ask about how can you use fear positively so maybe perhaps mr. glassner could talk about incorporating his other books of the gospel of food and how we are afraid of food and food additives and pesticides and how that plays out in the culture today. >> thanks scholar. >> thank you. and i have to say i don't recognize the voice but thank
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you for mentioning my other book. i'm always interested in why americans are afraid of things they shouldn't be so in the gospel of food a lot of what i am concerned about is why is it that americans seem to treat every food as a possible danger to our health? you know people walk through the and look at restaurant menus constantly afraid of anything they could be sold whether it is carbohydrates, fat for another group, salt, sugar, additives, no additives, it goes on. the list is almost endless and i think that it's part of the same phenomenon and the same reason in that case largely because of marketing more than some of the factors i talk about in the culture of fear. there are whole sectors in the food industry that rely on us being afraid of one sort of food rather than another to sell the alternative. >> should we be afraid of those additives, carbohydrates,
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saltzman velt? >> if we are free of all of those we are not going to be achieved anything so the answer is clearly no. whether we should be concerned about any particular ones really depends on our own health patterns so there are some people who should definitely be concerned about how much salt intake for example they have, how much saturated fat intake. on a population basis as we say for the general population most of the scarce are pretty much clearly blown out of proportion of depends on the particular person and particular profile but what is often left out of the discussion is that the anxiety and fear itself isn't good for one's health. ischemic as the "los angeles times" about culture of fear barry glassner has written an expos the of one of the most widespread delusions of our time, misplaced fear. next call for the guest comes from palm springs california. >> yes, good afternoon. i was wondering if you see the
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correlation between the primaries in the 20's to the rise of mccarthyism and what historian richard hofstadter called stalin of american politics up to today seem kind of the wedding of the conservative right media to fox news and government officials using the instrument to public policy and all of that of course is still surrounded around a big style of fear that seems to take over the society. if you have any comments on that, thank you. >> yes i do think that there has been a lot of fear mongering in politics as you are suggesting for a very long time. it is not new. there are some things that are different now though. one of them is the important of the sound bite which wasn't true that much even in the fairly recent past. but to run a successful campaign these days especially in some local areas but also some
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national campaigns it's all about getting the right sound bites and the sound bite that attracts voters that actually motivates people. a very effective way to do that is with something scary. fear is motivating site think it is much more common in that regard now. whether one side or the other does more fear mongering i would be very cautious about saying. all sides of the political spectrum engaging fear mongering. it is certainly true in some elections, some period one side does it more than the other. i think in the last presidential election that was true objectively because one candidate ran on the campaign of hope the was the model and a lot less fear mongering on that side but there is tremendous fear mongering in politics and that goes we back. >> on the reverse side of the clan ronald reagan ran on a very hopeful campaign did he not and there was some fear thrown at him and what he could possibly do.
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>> that's right. to imagine is only on one side of the political spectrum, fear defeat could here or elsewhere is from. it goes back and forth and it depends upon who mostly who is organizing a campaign, police strategizing. >> have you discussed this the core issue with your students as a professor at usc what are they afraid of? and is a rather elite university is it not? >> no, not really. that is somewhat of a misconception. a majority of the students are more and financially but it is the case that they have plenty of fear of their own and i haven't taken a survey in a while so i would be cautious about trying to say what they are afraid of. the glib answer is they are afraid of the final exams coming up but it is true that for young people in college the fear tends
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to be immediate and proximate and their immediate lives because they are still engaged with their media environment and college work but then the national scarce that are out there they tend to also respond to very quickly. so i recall for example after 9/11 is very fearful student population. >> very glassner teaches sociology at essey and he's now the one the campus of ucla, doesn't need to get a passport to come over here or anything. indiana university and plumbing and indian and that is where the next call comes from. go ahead. >> yes, my question is why is the government, samet and our congress not having term limits when the same people are coming in as has been in there for 30 or 40 years? why is it there are term limits and in the congress and the senate and why shouldn't the american people be able to vote for that? >> i don't the if there is an answer you can extrapolate from
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that fought. >> that is a little far from the work i do. i think it is an interesting point. but i try to stick to things that i've studied. >> as congress react in fear? >> absolutely. any scare that is out there that is prevalent -- >> financial regulation. >> if you are a smart politician, you are one way or another going to respond to that and my concern is not that they do that brought the but when they do it with fear and danger that really are not anywhere near as big as they are made out to be. so an example that i get it is important in this regard is missing children. one missing child is serious, normal situation. i do not minimize it in any way but we go through these patterns of the nation being terrified where you can't turn on cable tv news without hearing about missing children and you get all these numbers turnaround. the last time i saw one of the cycles, 100,000 missing children was the number three or not.
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the actual numbers between 100 to 200 each year kidnapped for a substantial period of time by a stranger who are in actual danger. there are many market typically by people they know well and often a custody dispute or something like that but we have a lot of legislation that has been passed in various states and national league in response to that and the missing children phenomenon. why? because it is a great campaign. a great for running for office. nobody's going to take you on, your opponent is not going to oppose that a specially when there is a little child that is missing and is on the news all the time. my concern is when they manipulate it in that kind of way. we clearly have a big problem in the financial system. we disagree about the solution is to really try to be very non-partisan about this but we had a big problem. i don't think that any sane person would disagree. yes, they should respond to that to get should they then, however as is sometimes going on even
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with a serious matter like that make people even more afraid of the financial situation and they already are that would be a bad idea. >> next call, washington. he wore on with barry glassner, the head. >> caller: one other problem is similar to you there was another look written called 1984 doublespeak where we get the idea that one thing is right and in the next day it's not. we get that from the fda concerning food. we did that about the war. it seems like fear is constantly fed to us because we can't be certain about anything and that seems to be where our country seems to want to be is on certain. and it's common knowledge about the one first in the bible that is repeated over and over again is if you're not. so why are people using fear so
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much especially from the religious right and the bush administration? >> if of questions packed in there. first, let me thank you for comparing my work to "1984." i wish i could do that kind of work. but very seriously, yes, it is the case it is very confusing to try to get the facts. with those it often feels like we are told one thing one day and something the next day or two different things by two competing groups who both of whom seemed knowledgeable. to go back to a previous question we are in a great position most of us these days because we have good access if we use the right through the internet coming especially throughout really reliable information sources. so you mentioned the fda. you can go to the cdc, for example, for very clear information about the actual dangers from almost any kind of disease scare that you are hearing about.
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you can go to various reliable medical sites like mayo and choose another one for medical conditions. you can get a government side project information before i mentioned how many essential for our there. we hear a large number. you can go to the justice agency. there are various .gov's for that and you can get the numbers. what people too often do is to go to an advocacy group that wants you to be afraid or to a political campaign that wants you to be afraid but we don't have to do that. these days, unlike even just recently ten years ago you could get the real information pretty quickly. >> last call for dr. glassner comes from fairfax, virginia. >> caller: hello? professor b glassner, i was disappointed by your statement that the supply -- sob cspan: problem in the country is
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primarily and substantially one where black homeowners or potential homeowners were the purchasers were responsible for the issue and the problem of supply and loans. that is absolutely false -- >> all right, fairfax, we have to get an answer from dr. glassner. >> thank you. if i gave the impression i certainly didn't mean to. what i say is it is disproportionate, which is different. they were promoted disproportionately to african-americans compared to others but it is absolutely a national problem that comes across every racial and ethnic group. >> "culture of fear," is one of barry glassner's five books. hear the latest of books, l.a. festival of books last panel of the day coming up. this is the struggle for a
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better tomorrow. richard rayner, miriam pawel and richard schrag. .. ..
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>> and thirdly, i think the idea that african-american women and white males could ever forge a relationship that led to mortgage, children, and so forth, was almost unheard, i think, for a long period of time. and so to start off, i want to say that marsha sandweiss has written a terrific book called "passing strange." just terrific. it tells the story which we'll ask about and talk about later on. then miriam pawel, a late starter because we had a couple
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of people on the panel who had family problems, couldn't come, one -- there we are, they just weren't here. miriam stepped right in and helped us out. but it helped us out in a great way. the story of chavez and the farm workers and the people who worked with him is untold story in many ways. interesting to talk about that. and then finally, how do you describe this? this is just remarkable. i mean those of us who are old enough to member who it was like 40, 50, 60, 70 years ago would know what happened in the south and what happened in the area between white and black relations between lynching was unbelievable, unreported in the press. and amy louise wood has done a marvelous job of uncovering the
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story, telling the story, and raising some questions about what has happened to race relations in this country. as you know, we're goingly a tremendously tense period of time in the african-american president and symptom of the unspoken but obviously connections coupled with the economic hard times. and the fact that we had a african-american president and race is an issuing. whether you like to talk about it or not, it's there. this book tells you what it was like 100 years ago. amy has done a wonderful job. i must say she's followed in the foot steps of another great historian. she stepped into the shoes of, maybe he won't like the shoes, of gordon wood, a great historian, who's been honored here at the los angeles times
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awards before and who's books i have on my shelf many times. it's a pressure having her here. i thought we would start off by having martha tell us something about the unique relationship that she's uncovered and read about. >> thank you, and good afternoon. i thought what i would do today is read to you very briefly from my book introducing my listeners the same way i introduce my readers, and talk about what's really a remarkable story. let me just read for a few moments from "passing strange" a guilded age tale of love and deception across the color lines. edward brown moved down north prince street. knocking on each and every door in the neighborhood of queens new york. it was june 5. 1900. a mild and sunny day in the first spring of a new century.
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the federal census agents had done more than 100 years, he was counting americans. painting a portrait in fact nation. as brown made his one the street, he made his way with immigrants who worked as machinist and clerks. he took note of her black housekeeper. he counted 72 white residents. peterson was the first black person he had encountered. but then he walked next door and knocked at the large and comfortable home at 48 north prince street. two black servants lived here. 33 years old widow and just 14 was scarily older than the children she's been hired to watch. grace age 9, ada, age 8, and sidney, age 6 were home from
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school. perhaps playing with their 3 year old brother. who ever answered the door, took him into the room. edward brown entered the home to talk to the lady of the house. her husband, james, was away, she said. so ms. todd sat down to answer the census agent long list of questions herself. brown hardly needed to ask her race. with a glance at her dark complex, he noted her color of skin as black. mr. todd reported that her parents came from georgia. she informed mr. brown she could read and write. he was born in georgia in 1862. if brown remembered his history, he might have remembered if she was born a slave. that question was not on his list. mr. todd told the census man about her husband.
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she had married her husband james 18 years earlier in 1882. he was a black man some 20 years older than her. born in the west indies. he later had become a naturalized citizen. now she had a job as a traveling steel worker. brown noted that the house seemed mr. todd had done well. even if his job kept him away. ms. todd said there had been five. four still at home and a child who had died at a toddler. edward brown took pride in the accuracy. in the neat way he filled 1050 blank boxes, recorded into being a portrait of the neighborhoods springing up in the settled borough of queens. he would have been stunned to learn that almost nothing ms. todd told him was true.
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she had knocked two years off of her age. a gesture of vanity. she and her husband had married for 12 years, not 18. a fact that ms. todd was aware. a lie that was hard. since the children aged raised no questions about her legitimacy. but the other untruth were more stunning. her husband was not black. he was not from the west indies. he was not a steel worker. even his name, james todd, was a lie. ada todd was in fact married to clarence king, a celebrated public worker and someone once called the best and brightest man. he was a larger than life, western explorer, an accomplished writer and story teller. he counted some of the nations most distinguished writers endearstist among his closest friends. his physical aguilty and bravety
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combined commanded near reverence from those who knew him best. with king, the historian henry adams wrote men worships not so much their friend as the ideal american they all wanted to be. but of all of this, of her husband's true identity and even his real name, ada had not a clue. not until he lay dying in phoenix in 1901. his last hope of a desert tour going did james todd write a letter to his wife and tell her who he really are was. that's the beginning of the book. and i thought i would just step back from a moment and talk about some of the larger issues here. this book was a challenge to write. because of the celebrated clarence king we know much, of cope ran, very little. born into slavery, she had few records. clarence king fought very, very hard to be assured no record of
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his life would survive. most 19th century americans managed to leave some trace in the records. that's the historian's job to find. the story of james, ada todd is a tale that tells us a number of things. it tells us how privacy functioned in the late 19th century. here was a man, a public figure, who led a double life for 13 years, largely in new york, no one, not his friends or family ever found out. it's a story that tells us about the ways in which people could reinvent himself. slaves, immigrants, or people like clarence king. and above all, of course, it's a story about race. clarence king was blond haired and blue-eyed. how could we pass himself off as a black man? well, he was exposed about the
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racial classification that sprang up in the wake of emancipation has southern states struggled to define black people and deny them their rights. these new laws thought to make race fixed. they specified if one of your eight grandparents were black, you were black and you would be assigned to ride in the jim crow cars. by saying one ancestry matters more than the color of one's skin, these laws actually made it possible for a euro-american like king, a man who had no ancestry whatsoever, to claim a black heritage. he could pass the wrong way across the color line. in a era where many light complex people disguised or hit their heritage, clarence king moved the other direction.
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into ada copelan's world. king secret marriage came to light in 1933, more than three decades after his death when his widow went to court to claim the inheritance she thought was hers. in a sensational trial, she read her husband's love letters outloud. because she needed to prove to the world that she was married. for 32 years she involved a monthly sty pent, now she wanted the body of trust fund. she learned in the courtroom, there was no money. the money she had received ever month came from kung's close friend, the secretary of state john hayes, once the personal secretary of lincoln. it was hush money to protect the
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representation of his friend. finally, i would say the biographers never did anything with this. this aspect of king's life upset them. they wanted to focus on his distinguished scientific career as an explorer. so those biographers missed an extraordinary opportunity. because ada copelan todd king lived the century of civil rights, she did not die until 1964, at the age of 103. no one ever sought her out to tell her story, though she had lived in the same home for more than 60 years. i think i'll stop there and we can come back and talk about the some of the issues of race. [applause] >> martha, weren't there children? >> yes, there were four children. the two girled married as white
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women. they had to leave their mother at home to swear they were white. their two brothered registered for the world war i draft and both put in all black jim crow regimens. so the story of all of the story was classified changing over of the course. >> it's a remarkable story. just a remarkable story. miriam, you talk about chavez in almost saintlike terms. because at the time when he was farm workers union. i mean it didn't have to be just in california. i remember doing to meetings within the chicago. and all over the country. and he was liized all over the world in the great strike and so forth. tell us something about who caesar chavez and his friends. he was not alone in the campaign that he launched in favor of the
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farm workers. >> my book is untold story of different kind. it is more recent history. i had the advantage of being able to still talk to many of the people who lived through it. i am a journal isby training, unlike my two panelist who are are bona fide historians. i am practicing history without a license. but i came very enamored in working on the book. as the journalist, you go out and see things and you cover them as you cover the civil rights and you go back and you write about them. as a historian, i found these sort of remarkable change which is that you not seeing -- i did not cover this, i did not ever meet caesar chavez, i knew about
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the boycotts as a child. so i didn't have that first-hand experience that i'm used to as a journalist. but i had the privilege of being able to have access to documents and to an incredible wealth of information that no one who covered it at the time ever did. so there's an archive of materials that was preserved by chavez, because he wanted the story told, warts and all. that includes tape recordings for many years and just hundreds of boxes and documents and records and letters and tapes. so and i did do a lot of history interviews for the book. but i relied on primary source documents for all of the quotations in the book. i listened to about 1,000 hours of tapes. it's as if you were a fly on the wall in the meetings. so i was some appreciation of
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the his storians craft and art. -- historians craft and art. my goal of the book is to tell a story that has not been told. to the extent that chavez has been written about, he has been written about as the latino hero, which he is. i in no way take away from that. but i think that heros, one the messages of my books is that heros have flaws too. to not recognize that is to not learn from their stories. and the book that i wrote is a history of the farm workers struggle that beginning in 1965 when some people remember the great, great strike that began then that led to the boycott. the rest of the book takes place through the '60s and '70s and in the '80s. i meet people and say i boycotted grapes and a lettuce. i still don't drink wine.
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we saw those problems. no. since the plan has called a struggle of something, for equality, -- identical for those of you who are disappointed for whoever was supposed to be here. i'm happy to be here in the sense that i think the struggle for equality in this country is far, far too often told as the story about blacks and whites. and the latino civil rights struggle is given short shrift in that story. i think it's important. i think to give voice to some of the people that were involved in the that struggle. >> miriam, i think your portrait of these individuals is just remarkable. even those people, including myself who covered the farm workers didn't know a lot of them. we knee a few people that were upfront and quotable. but i told -- you give us a
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portrait of some of these people. they are wonderful. >> i chose people who were incredible stories in and of themselves. also archetypes of the worlds that came together. the protestant minister, chris hartmeyer was responsible for really marshaling religious support across the country. chris who was one of chavez's closest aids from day one and got stucked into the movement deeper and deeper and deeper and did a lot of things that he has since come to regret and took action that he regrets. and ultimately, he was personalled as most of the people who were close to chavez were by the 1980s. so his story is a very -- he was a very important figure. the catholic churches often gets most of the credit for the
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support of the boycott and the strike. it was the bishops who were there at the signing of the first contract which was almost exactly 40 years ago this morning. this catholic church was moistly controlled by the growers and certainly in california and agriculture real region. and it was chris and support of protestant gnome nations that were critical to the early years and to chavez's ability to continue. so chris who kept records and literacy files, his transformation as he becomes more and more involved in the movement and as it becomes his life and the sacrifices he makes for that, it was one the story. >> it was the falling out with caesar something that was just built over time? was it sudden? what happened there?
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how do they confront each other when some of the people fell away? >> there's sort of a rise and fall to the story. there are these -- it's a tremendously inspirational story. i -- anyone who's interested in social activism and causes and empowerment, i think there are a lot of lessons in the book about what works and what was successful and how the movement took people who had no rights and very few rights to the day farm workers in the country are not covered by the national labor relations act and do not have the same that farm workers have. so the incredible iningenuity was sent on his first plane ride was $100 in the chicago to stop the sale of grapes and the remarkable thing is that it worked.
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i mean, you know, it's really the first half of the story is the quite incredible story. and it's also a lot of terry brown, the once and potentially future governor of california played a very key role in one of the major accomplishments in his administration in 1975 was the passage of the agricultural labor relations act which to this day is the only law in the country that give farm workers to right to unionize. it is considered the most pro labor law in the country. it gets a lot of the credit or blame, depending on your point of view for enacting that law. and it's in 19 -- to me -- that is a water mark. the passage of that law. because chavez is a brilliant strategist. he was a wonderful fighter. he is creative. it's a charactermatic leader. as long as there's a enemy and he's leading the fight, everything is great. after the passage of the law,
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it's suddenly a completely different ball game. there are elections. there are hundreds of elections. if you win a election, there's a contract to negotiate. if you negotiate the contract, there are members who maybe demands who want the medical plan to work well. and chavez had a very consistent vision and his vision was of the poor people's movement. and what he called the nonmissionary work of administering contracts was not what interested him. this is a round about answer to your question. over time he found enemies when the growers and other just wonderful villains that existed in the early years of the struggle were no longer the enemy, he began to create enemiesed. -- enemies. and he turned on almost everyone. >> a couple of those people were key in the operation. came from mexico. i said that was rather -- i
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didn't not know that. >> the farm workers in which -- in some ways the most inspiring and the most tragic part of the book is the story of the some of the farm workers who -- for whom the union became what they call a third way. so workers will tell you that in the 1960s when they had no control over their working traditions at all, the only options that they saw were to be a worker or to be a foreman. that's what you could aspire to be a supervisor. the choice was to be the exploited or the exploiter. and that was it. and the union became for them the third way. the idea that for some people it was a way out of the field to learn how to do other things to organize. but more than that, it was a way to be a farm worker with certain dignity and rights.
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to this day if you talk to workers, when it meant to them to be negotiating face to face with the growers was a remarkable experience. out of that, there are people -- there are always people who became leaders in any world. and there were leaders who came out of that, who came out of the field and who believed chavez when he said repeatedly he was goal was to turn the union over to farm workers. and they said we're ready. he was not prepared to do that. because he talks and i heard a lot of tapes to this -- on this general theme. his feeling was sacrifices that he doesn't know about the life and he lived the life of sacrifice. he believes that was the ultimate goal. he talked about the need for workers to be educated. and you can't turn the union over to them until they understand that's the most important thing. obviously for workers who join a
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union from better wages and working deny that's run by professionals and volunteers and all sorts of other things, the tension developed as the union begins to grow. he's not the first leader to be able to build something and not necessarily be the person to administrate it. his inability to let other people do that and to move on created this tension. >> as i read the book, i thought back -- i had some experience with the farmers in mexico. i often thought that what he was doing was almost not heard about in mexico. they did not report on farm workers at all. there were not reporting on any of the mexican press. one the other things as a skilled journalist yourself for 25 years, news day in "los angeles times" what about the rest of the press. were they on to the story at all? >> you know, there was some good reporting in the '80ed. in the '80s as people became
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disenchanted and left, there was some reporting. for example, chavez had an affiliation with a drug treatment program that morphed into the cult. ultimately the leader was charged and pled guilty to helping put a rattle snake into the mailbox who successfully sued him. there was a very close working relationship between chavez and him. some of that began to come out at the time. he was a larger than life person. he must have been wonderful to cover for reporters. and he was brilliant at controlling the media and controlling access. there are penalty of times when he's said things and he's certainly not the only figure of leader who has done this that were just simply not true. he denied that they did certain thing that is they absolutely did and so on. i think that there was some effort by the press later on.
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the other thing that was remarkable that people did not -- people when they left the union did not talk about what happened for the most part. with very, very few exceptions. part of that was -- most of -- part of it was because it was painful to them. mostly it was because it was a cause that they believed in deeply. they still believed the bmw was the best possible root. they did not want to be in a position of saying anything that might be counterproductive. so they kept all of this stuff inside. that was one of the remarkable things for me was to find people when they were ready to talk about this and find they had been haunted by what had happened and haunted by the failure of this movement to turn into a lasting, viable, and effective union for farm workers. each of them had even a little piece of it. like the blind man in the elephant story where everybody
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saw a different part of the story. the reason that i wrote the book in part is because i thought i could be the person to find some of those answers and to piece together the story by going back to the original documents and the primary sources and sort of working back and forth and thinking this was what you thought was going on. but in fact, this is what was really happening. >> and you're digging for sources. and another remarkable aspect of the book itself is how much you were able to find and where you found it and how you led on it with because it was the hesitancy on the part of some of the people who were active. did not want to talk about the short comings they had with chavez. what was it about chavez himself that was hidden from the public? >> i think it was his -- even -- not even the publish -- not just in the general public but people who worked with him closely, i think for many years believed that they shared a common goal.
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that that goal from their point of view was to build a union that would have contracts for farm workers. it would be a national union. and what i found in the recenting and listening to him is that this was never really his goal all along. the union was one stepping stone for him. and something much larger that to him was what he called the poor people's movement. he talked about creating community and all sorts of issues that become sort of a split later on. they were there for him all the time. i mean, there are people who believed that everything was good up to a point. caesar was great. he listened to us. this was a democracy. that was one of the things that frequently gets portrayed. and something happened. he went nuts. something -- he cracked. something happened. because they cannot reconcile the early years in which there was sort of a united front in
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fighting against the growers and the teamsters and all of the forces of evil with the later years where there was so much internal struggle and strife and difference about the direction that it should be. i understand why they cling to the idea that something happened. but in fact the historical record does not support that. >> it does seem to be a problem that we have lionizing pretty figures where they are. they turn out to have flaws like anything else. gandhi being an excellent of it in india. >> and the fact that martin luther king, there are there's many things that have been written that have spoken to his flaws. that does not detract from his place in history as the hero. i was argue the same thing is true for see car -- caesar chavez to write about it or study it does not do him any
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service and does not help in terms if you believe it's important to understand the past in order to move forward. it does not help to address the problems to gloss over the failures and the difficulties that were inherited in that generation. and i would also add in some parallels to what we were doing that martha was saying in the sense that there's no good reason that none of this has been written about until now. the material has been there. it's been open to the archives had been there for historians. but there's been a real reluctance on the part of people who are sympathetic to the cause as i am to explore it because to this day, there are people that don't want to know about the book even because it just to them opens up areas that are better left unsaid. better to preserve the mythology. chavez who was a prominent and
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amherst spoke about the subject recently. you talk about no one in mexico has heard. certainly in the fields today, they think you're talking about the boxer. because there is a mexican boxer by that name. the same thing is true in mexico. chavez's argument was that is because there has been no critical examination of him. the way to maintain and restore the position as true, heroic and important figure is by examining him in a critical way. >> was there anybody at all within the organization who was able to confront chavez directly before some of the people who fell away? is there something that other people came to him and told him what the discontent was that the kind of bubbling beneath the surface? his brother, actually. his brother richard who was a board member and was consistently the person at meetings who really -- he felt
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he was the one person in the position to be able to say to him caesar, everybody thinks this, but they are afraid to tell you this. so i will. he made a real attempt to talk about the issues that were undermining the union. in the end, it was his brother. >> what happened after? >> yeah. [and you haddable -- inaudible conversations] >> okay. we'll get to that. what happened after his death? >> it fell apart even more quickly. >> okay. amy louise wood, you have a story to tell, i think that most americans are not very conscious of. because it's uncomfortable. and it was -- there's something about what had happened here in 19th century and early 20th century in the united states to people of color. lynching was unreported,
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unrecognized form of torture. tell us something about what you found, how you found it, what turned you on to the whole story? >> thank you. yeah, my feeling about lynching is america is the most striking met fore for racial violence and racial oppression in this country. you can probably think a lot of the example where the term gets thrown out as the symbol for racial oppression. it's one of those things that a lot of americans have conscienceness about and there's a lot of historical amnesia at the same time. a lot of you might have been aware of the collections about sanctuaries and published in the book and it's not on the internet. it was exhibited about the country of lynching photographs. you asked how i came to this project, i was -- this was years
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ago. 15 years ago. i was living in mississippi and working as a research assistant for documentary. it's a documentary that never got funded. but they sent me to atlanta to find images to go along with the documentary. i came across the photographs. this was before the sanctuary, before these images have come to the surface. and i was astounded by them. i knew the history of lynching. the idea that people would take photographs was a real puzzle to me. when i started my program, it became one of my goals to short of unravel that puzzle. and then i soon became interested not just in the photography, but the rituals that surrounded that violence. a little bit for those that might not be aware, between the years of my study 1890 to 1940,
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over 3,000 african-americans were lynched in this country. the numbers even probably higher because so many went unreported. and many of these lynchings victims were tortured and mutilated and some of them there were hundreds if not thousands of witnesses. these were the public spectacles. many lynching were not public spectacles. i think those get the most attention. even smaller private lynching, i found, were often ritualistic, and were sometimes photographed and souvenirs taken. they had the qualities even if they were private. so my question in the book a lot of historians have written about how and why the violence became to be. i was interested in -- and, you know, they look at them as this violence coming out of the ashes of the civil war. it operated alongside systemic
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disenfranchisement and jim crow segregationism needs to terrorize african-americans to keep them at their place at a moment where black advantagement and black political advantagement for real possibilities. but i saw this violence as more than just a political act. i saw it as a cultural act that conveyed powerful messages to its participates and its witnesses. in particular, it em parted messages to whites about their own racial dominance. and in that sense, it didn't just reflect, people tend to see the violence as reflecting white supremacy. it was something that helped construct white supremacy, in particular attached individuals to a group mentality or ideology
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of white supremacy. so the book is about the -- and violence itself is unlike disenfranchisement, it's unlike segregation. violence was -- so my book was about that visual sensationalism and the cultural that it thought to -- that it performed. and i thought to try to make sense of why -- not just how or -- not just why the violence occurred, but why it occurred the way that it did. why these rituals -- what did it mean for the participates? why photograph? i also found that there were very, very early on in the beginning of motion pictures. there were motion picture sinmatic representations of of -- cinemamatic representation of the film. what i did was try to understood
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the silence by looking at how it emergeed and coincided at the turn of the century. including public executions, religious ritualing, photography, trying to his tor size, not just how and why they happened, but look at the way that is they coincided with other kinds of photographic , like family pictures and criminal pictures. and part of my goal was trying to get the violence within the context to try to understand how ordinary people in the people who made up these mobs, you know, it's easy to think about
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them, but they were family members, they saw themselves as members of the community. how they came to accept and even participate in and rebel in just extraordinary acts of atrocity, to try to understand that. not sympathize it, but try to understand that kind of mentality. i also then look at because i'm talking about sensationalism and speck call and i also try to look at the relationship between lynching and modernity at the turn of the century. most people see it as air cayic that these mobs were backwards. they were out of step with modern progress. what i found was that these lynching tended -- they occurred in response to the process of modernization that was happening
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in the south after the civil war. on the one hand, they were reactionary against changes in the south and you can see that in the ways that lynch mobs saw themselves with public executions or in terms of religious rituals. at the same time, they are relying on modern technologies and media and film. but i don't necessary want to go and sort of make the statement that these were then -- there was just a modern phenomenon. because i found it much more complicated than that. because what i found is that the participates and witnesses to lynching or the witnesses to photographs or the witnesses to these films they often interpreted them as received them through what was happening in their own localities through their local concerns through specific crimes and offenses or
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racial and social disorder p their communities. so i look at that tension between the modern and traditional. and then i end, you know, this panel struggled for equality. and so i was also interested in the anti-lynching movement and those people who were fighting back against this. i was interested in the way that is they used the spectacle. that they used sensationalism to combat lynching. so i have a chapter on the anti-lynching activist use of photograph and the ways that they were able to take the photograph that were made for the purpose of celebrating a lynching and affirming the righteousness and using those to strike the moral conscience of americans. >> was the anti-lynching
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movement? >> yes, there was such a thing. >> were they respond for ending the lynching? >> the ending of lynching is complicated. it haded to with eventually modernization of the south where the state sort of takes a larger and larger control over justice or criminal justice. where there's a lot of fear amongst the whites that they are losing their labor force if blacks are fleeing the south. but part of what i see is the contribution of the public shift in mood in the country where most americans by world war ii, lynching is declining through the 20s and 30s. certainly by world war ii, most americans find the violence appalling. white southerners start to see lynching as this public regional embarrassment for their themselves. that has a lot to do with the
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media. and particularly, i actually would think that what happens is hollywood, my last chapter on hollywood, hollywood takes up the argument of the ncaacp, and they sensationalize it and put it out for a particular audience in several films that end up having a larger impact on public, you know, popular perception of lynching than what the black press is able to do. which has a much smaller audience. >> whereas the birth of a nation, the great film with character, it didn't really talk about lynching very much, did it? >> birth of a nation, no, lynching is at the center of birth of a nation. there's a lynching of a black man who is accused of assaulting the young, white, pure, innocent virgin who's the daughter of the hero of the story. and he forms the clan as a way
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to avenge what's happened to here. >> there were two things, the lynching of a white man. leo frank, businessman in atlanta who was accused a murder of mary fagan. they lynched him and tortured him. >> yeah, he -- leo frank was jewish. and so there's a lot of -- there's a lot of really good work on that lynching in terms of the role of anti-semitism. but also it's that lynching that fits in perfectly with southerners pushing back on modded earnization and industrialization. frank was the manager of this company. i should add that i've been talking about the south. lynching did happen nationwide. and there was actually a lynching of two white men in san jose, california in 1933. i spent some time on that lynching because of america's kind of shock that two white men could be lynched in california. particularly because the --
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focus on the south because the large majority happened in the south. but also because i'm interested in cultural representation, most americans by the 1910s, '20s, and '30s associated lynching. >> what is the incredible story of emma till? in which the lynching came up. tell that story. >> emma till is later. i end the book talking about emma till. that happened in -- god, i'm forgetting. 1954. '54, yeah. and that -- you know, you might have heard of the story that emma till's mother. emma till was a young boy who was from chicago sent down to live with family members in mississippi. and a he was accused of wolf whistling at a white woman in mississippi. he was taken by two men, the
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husband and brother-in-law who mutilate his body and he's killed. and emma till's mother takes, there was a photo of his body of, you know, his body was bloated and tortured. she publicized in "jet" magazine. there's a lot of misperception this photo was all circulated in the mainstream media. i found no evidence. it was published in the black press. but it made national headlines. i use that case as an example of how much had changed since 20 years earlier. because there was -- there was an event that helped galvanize the modern civil rights movement and the kind of anger that was unleased about emma till that was not unleased to thousands of victims, you know, in '20, -- 20, 30, 40 years before. >> here we have an element of
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conflict in america over two centuries. and it's remarkable as to how little people understand, i think, that's still the case. people are not fully versed on what had transpired 50 to 100 years ago. what does that tell us generally, do you think? with the marriage described in your book, and the problems of the farm workers, and the problems of blacks generally in trying to reach equality? because the lynching was a symbolic aspect of blacks trying to earn their way and cause the attention. create the attention among white americans. >> i'm sorry. could you ask a question? >> what does this say about america's recognition? of the racism that prevailed in
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the south and certainly lynching was a symbol of what had happened and a warning of what could happen? >> yeah, yeah, well, it operated of a symbol. it was just even as something that african-americans were aware of that becomes its way to terrorize african-americans. richard wright talks about this, about not even having to see a lynching to just -- it's a means to sort of make him immobilize him to some degree. you wanted to -- >> i might add one thing. i hope everyone in the room filled out the census form; correct? a lot of the evidence from my story comes from the census form and how the federal government tried to classify americans. it is the case between 1920 and 2000, you could only check one box on your census. you could be black or white.
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you could be hispanic or white. or you could be black or indian. and americans of mixed race fought very, very hard to change the census option through the year 2000 and we see that in 2010, alonging all of us to check multiple boxes to reflect the complicated history of this country. i happen to see that as an enormous step towards in the ways we think about race. i see it recognizes who we are as a country. you walk around the streets of leek, and you see why we need the multiple boxes. i have to say i'm a little disappointed that our president, as the newspaper reported, checked only one box. i think the change on the census forms speaked to the question about how ideas about race are shifting and the boundaries between race has been rigid as the period of amy's lynching book, those boundaries are just
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breaking down. there are not walls anymore. there's lots and lots of gates. >> i think these questions are really true main. but i want to know from the public whether any of you here have some thoughts of your own that you'd like to request before we close this out for the rest of the afternoon. here's one. >> yeah, i'm actually glad this question came up. because i sort of want to ask it from the other side. in some ways to me, emma till is kind of an interesting story because here in the wake of mainly the end of lynching, clearly, you know, black people are still being horribly oppressed. and now -- in a certain sense, the same thing is on the horizon with this new law in arizona. it's there in terms of demonization of lesbian and gay people. there's a whole lot of different
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elements of it. and then there's the tea party movement. and the question that i guess i wanted to raise or the issue to discuss is, is it true that this is a problem that mainly has been solved and is in the past or is it there in fact a real battle in society between people who very correctly and very justly are horrified by this and by it going on around the world and by people who actually think the only way they can hold this nation together is to go back to those kinds of attitudes whether it's, you know, white supremacy or male supremacy or america number one or whatever. >> yeah, can i just -- yeah. i wanted to qualify. i didn't want to give the impression that emma till was -- that was the change. wh was interesting is that people's attitudes against public demonstrations of that kind of violence shifted even as
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people were very strongly defending white supremacy. i think what's interesting, you mentioned the tea party, what we're seeing as a form of right wing populism that has a long history. i mean i really see the people, the white people in my book, these mob members, they are the same types of people who are part of this kind of reaction against we want our america back kind of thing, you know? >> why don't we try one more question from other here? those of who are going to the book signing have an opportunity to question the authors and talk to them about it. i think they are worthwhile thinking about. and considering it. >> i wondered if you would address the what we were talking about equality and short of legal immigrants who are long-time residents here in the united states because i have close relationships with people in agricultural all over the
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country, i spent a lot of time in places where there are people who live and have lived for decades in an area where they work and they don't have full-time jobs but they don't leave because none of the crops could get harvested if they weren't there. they are totally marginalized in every way. the children who weren't born in the united states can't go to college. they don't have documentation. they experience a lot of violence and live lives at constant fear having to leave when they own homes and are long-time residents. if you could address that, i would appreciate it. >> that's true. in the fields probably 90% of the people who work in the fields do not have legal documentation. and in any ways they and their children lives lives like anyone else. this is a hot political issue. i would like to say i'm
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optimistic. but i'm not. i would say to tie back to the previous question that, you know, the races in the 1960s, you had growers who said mexicans are only -- why should mexicans get unemployment? because they can't do anything other than pit crops anyway. so there's no reason. they would go on the radio and say these things in the late 1960s. clearly, there has been a change in what's publicly acceptable to say. i do not think that means racism doesn't surface in more sophisticated and other forms. certainly, the situation of the illegal immigrants is very good one. >> i think i want to close with an observation or an experience that happened to me. i come back fromkey after the korean war. and -- i come back from korea and the korean war. all of the wounded americans
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were brought home on hospital ships. i was assigned to go out to the dock in san francisco to meet the hospital ships. and when the plank was lowered down, the first 30 or 40 wounded people were either african-americans or latinos. i was standing next to the commanding officer of the 6th army. he turned to his aid and i heard it with a clear shot. he said what do you expect, a bunch of gigs and spics. after resigned or retired, guess what? chairman of the national -- chairman of the -- well, i can't make up my mind here. the original naturalization service. it was just bizarre. and he lived out his life that way. he was the judge. he was the judge.
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anyway. this is a fascinating conversation that we've had here. i think the three wonderful authors for the three wonderful books. please go get and go out. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> if i would like to speak with the authors, please feel free to meet with them at the book signing. at this time, they have been assigned to the book signing area. [inaudible conversations] >> that was our last live author panel that we'll be covering today that the the "los angeles times" festival of books. still lots of people floating around. about 130,000 are expected here today and tomorrow. but our live coverage has not
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endedded. -- ended. we are live here with charles kessler who is sponsored by claire month college. what is the claremont review of books? >> it's actually a publication of the local think tank which is the institute for the study of statesmanship and political philosophy. which just turned 30 years old this year. it's been unusual think tank in that it takes a conservative view of the world. :
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>> how far are the claremont mckenna campuses from where we are here and ucla? >> the campuses are about 35 miles from here. they are basically the last city going east in los angeles county ascendancy passed through claremont you arrive at san bernardino county. >> in the winter edition of "the claremont review of books" you have an essay by steven hayward called the enterprise institute,
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somebody we know quite well in washington but this is what you right. this is what he writes, sorry about that. he writes that conservative intellectuals in particular are in eclipse at the moment. the leading public figures on the right today tend to be the media celebrities of talk radio and cable tv the makeup and decibels what they lack in rigor and depth. we have created build buckley for glenn beck, irving kristol for ann coulter. >> there is a lot of truth to that diagnosis i think. conservatism has always been both an elite intellectual movement and popular movement. it became popular beginning in the 1960s and certainly with the election of ronald reagan and the aftermath of the. but you have to remember that will buck he himself was famous for saying he would rather be governed by the first 2000 names
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in the boston telephone directory than by the faculty of harvard university. that was not on his part and undiscriminating populace because he thought in those circumstances in the 1950s and 60s and 70s, and they think still true today probably that there is more common sense and more good sense into people than there are in the intellectual elite or at least in the academic version of the intellectual elite. >> charles kesler's i guess. if you would like to dial in and talk to him them you can now. 2025853885 and in the eastern central timezones (202)585-3886. go ahead and dial and. we are going to be talking about books in general. you got a flavor of what professor kesler talks about and what he writes about. i want to read another quote
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from steven hayward. it is about the conservative ideas and personalities throughout american history. steven hayward writes that that book has a the great virtue of treating conservatism as an american phenomenon rather than as a transplant or derivation of european thought. ways that important important? >> conservatism has been confused for most of its life in america because it was never quite sure what it was for. it knew what it was against. it was against liberalism, it was against big government and in its day against communism imperialism but it was not so confident about what it was-- some conservatives thought of themselves as traditionalists come as burkean's. they thought the world ended with the french revolution and we have been living in they after times ever since. libertarian conservatives are
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opposed to the state of government in such to some extent but it seems to me, and it seems they think to steven hayward as well, that if you really want to understand where liberalism came from, you have to look at american. conservatism really is reacting alternately to the intellectual and political forces that is progressivism unleashed on the country at the turn of the last century. and, the peculiar domestic sources of american liberalism lie in the thought of woodrow wilson and herbert crowley and john daly and that generation. in a way the left has been living off those ideas for 100 years. >> what is your favorite conservative look? >> that is a tough one. i will tell you, i knew bill buckley for 35 years so i
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suppose not unexpected my favorite conservative book would have been written by bill buckley but actually there are two. i think his books i think are nonpareil and one of his last books called miles gone by which is his own assortment of autobiographical writings. the other is a book called, a book of his features over the course of his whole life called let us talk of many things. those are excellent, excellent introductions to the history of conservatism and the mind of a very special and gifted and brilliant polemicist, my old friend bill buckley. >> duque glenn beck and ann coulter and sarah palin, are they important to the conservative movement, the books that they write? >> they are important provocateurs, as popularizers of
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conservative ideas. i think the media celebrities and conservatives today get something of a bum rap because many of them, and certainly the best of them are actually quite -- if you look at rush limbaugh for example or even glenn back. these are people who are not winging it. these are people who were taking ideas very seriously, who are reading conservatives books and can-- conservatism and us-backed gift for taking the ideas of intellectuals and retailing them. along the way of course they have to pump them up a bit and entertain. there are millions of listeners, but i think on the whole that is a bargain that conservatives should be happy with. of course, the popular idea is not a substitute worth generating both research and
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philosophical types of scrutiny about politics. and they are, there is something to the criticism that conservative books have not been as profound as they were in their periods from the 1940s to the 1980s, but i don't think-- i think that is perhaps more of a generational and cyclical thing and i am not a pessimist that great conservative books lie behind us entirely. >> have conservative books been selling more since the obama administration? >> well, of course the obama administration has been a great boon to conservatism but not to the country i would say, but to conservatism. there are all kinds of people on the right now examining obama and obama is a myth there is such a thing. i am writing a book on obama and the history of modern liberalism. i think phoenicia sues is
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working on a book as well. yes there are lots of depends busy on the subject of obama and why not? conservatives made the mistake of letting down their guard i think, and persuading themselves that liberalism was a spent force or at least that you know, the radicalism had gone out of liberalism, retained by the reagan revolution and even though clinton did eventually come around to this view when he announced with the era of big government was over and began triangulating his way through the election. i think obama, part of obama's genius was in recognizing that liberalism was not a spent force, and that it could be revived with the right kind of magical incantation, which he is certainly done and conservatives i think we are really caught
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flat-footed. >> charles kesler is the editor of "the claremont review of books," senior fellow at the claremont institute and in fact he was coeditor with william f. buckley junior on keeping the tablets and charles kesler two years ago hosted and after words or for booktv where he interviewed christopher buckley. the first call up for him comes from gordon, virginia. good afternoon, you you were on with charles kesler. >> caller: good afternoon mrs. kesler. i am one of those evil liberals. i want to issue a challenge to you and all of your viewers, since you've you mentioned the founding fathers. [inaudible] donations made at 127 east 58th street new york, new york that is 126 east 58th street,
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new york new york. this idea of the public library, i love the u.s. mail too. >> host: thank you caller. mr. kesler your reaction to that? >> guest: i think there should be paid, private as well as public, and i think we should be glad to contribute to paying off our founding fathers library fines. on the other hand maybe they should cut him a little slack. he did do a great deal of good for the country and maybe they should try to find those books and return them to the library instead of forcing him to pay his fine. >> host: dragoon, arizona. good afternoon to you. alright, arizona, sounds like they are gone so let's go to the other coast, to washington d.c.. good afternoon washington. >> caller: high. i have a question about glenn beck's comment on social justice
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that caused such a firestorm in the religious community. and i just wondered if you would like to comment on that controversy that seems to be going on. >> caller what it glenn beck say? >> caller: he said people that go to churches where the term social justice or economic justice are used should leave them where they preach social justice because their code word for communism and not see is him and socialism. >> thank you. >> mr. kesler? >> guest: i think the term social justice is susceptible to many meetings. it is true that it is a term that comes out of a gospel movement in america, the liberal protestant division but there is also a catholic, much older and developed tradition of catholic teachings as well and i think it is an exaggeration to say that any thinking along the lines of
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social justice is automatically a stalking horse for liberal thought. on that question i would certainly disagree with glenn beck. >> host: as we get deeper and deeper into the digital age, is "the claremont review of books" published in paper form? >> guest: if you are subscriber you can get it instantly at a pdf and eventually it will be on candle we hope another electronic forms as well. for us, part of the attraction of the claremont review on paper is that it is a kind of anti-blog. it stands for books, the serious consideration of books, the appreciation of the history of the book and the history of the geniuses who have utilized the book in the past to teach us so
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much. and also, we are very fond of the arts of the magazine. our magazine is illustrated by one brilliant illustrator from new york city, elliott stanfield, in a sort of 18th century, early 19th century sort of style, which is deliberately neoclassical and meant to remind us of our ancestors, of the newspaper and all of the literary review and all that is meant to the culture of america and of the west. >> host: two was angelo kota via, why we don't win. >> guest: he is an analyst of international-- who taught at boston university until his retirement recently, and he is almost sui generis. he is a critic of the bush
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administration's foreign policy from the right. >> host: the next call for charles kesler comes from fort myers, florida. >> caller: good afternoon peter and mr. kesler. i want you to join his first-time caller. mr. kesler i want to ask what, abortion is an issue in the conservative movement. how did that come about? when was that co-opted into the movement? i am a catholic myself as mr. buckley was an that maybe you are, and went to prep school and i was in school and catholic high school in 1973, when roe v. wade came down the pike and i don't remember hearing one word about abortion, no yearly demonstrations in washington are anything like that and then sorted closer to 1980, it sort of came on the scene and there were lots of trips to washington, red ribbons and everything else having to do with abortion.
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when did that become part of the conservative ideology? >> host: charles kesler. >> guest: it was the supreme court made abortion into a national issue. before that time, before roe v. wade in 1973 it was essentially a state issue and many conservatives, but we among them, cautioned in the 1960s that conservatives should not run headlong into a moral crusade against abortion, but the supreme court eliminated the state-by-state politics of abortion when it nationalized it with that decision. the religious right sprang up almost immediately after that decision of roe v. wade. it can be prepared by a series of supreme court decisions in the 1960s, which had expelled prayer from public schools, liberated obscenity and pornography in the nation's
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media, and had offended religious conservatives. but the final straw you might say was the abortion decision. >> host: is abortion central to conservative thoughts? >> guest: well, the issue, the issue of abortion is central, is a central part of conservative politics. it is not purely the center of conservative politics. the reason it is important is that it is, the principles that implicates, the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to the pursuit of happiness are central to the core of america's moral self-definition and central to the defense of american traditions and american public philosophies really. so the different conservatives, of course there is a difference within the conservative movement about abortion. there are some members
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especially on the more libertarian side, who take a different view but to respect roe v. wade or something like roe v. wade but i would say they are a minority of the conservative movement at this point. even libertarians have a significant number of critics of abortion in their ranks. >> host: we are the campus of ucla at the launch as-- los angeles times festival of books. when you think of ucla as a conservative point of view what do you think of and is claremont mckenna a conservative college? >> guest: claremont mckenna was founded relatively recently, 1946 and it was founded in part as a place where the chivalrous of the new deal could be questioned. the faculty was not explicitly conservative or are overwhelmingly conservative but there were a number of conservatives in the economic faculty, and the government
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faculty and ever since then, it has prided itself on being a balanced school, in which you have those liberal professors and conservative professors, in which you have liberal they love the road in conservative students dumm. in fact have the body's opinion parallels the country pretty closely. but on the faculty, we have always had i would say maybe one in five professors who are conservative. that is really enough to make cnc unique among high-quality liberal arts called -- my colleges in the country. we don't have any albums with political correctness i would say. probably the critical mass of conservatives would not permit students to be punished for the expression of heterodox political opinion, so the culture of the campus is i would say considerably to the right right of say ucla's political
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leaning while still being essentially a moderate rather than a conservative campus. >> host: i hope i am getting this right but didn't barack obama start out of claremont? >> guest: no, barack obama started out at occidental which is a small liberal arts college just down the road in eagle rock >> host: i should've known better than to go down that road. los angeles, thanks for holding. you are on with charles kesler. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to know compassionate conservative, was that coined by the liberals as a way to control the party, the term compassionate conservative? did they use that term to try to influence the conservative party in the direction of liberalism? thank you. >> host: thanks caller. >> guest: the short answer is no. i think the term was actually coined, at least the first time i was familiar with it being used was in a book i am engineer
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, one of the founders of jacobs engineering and mr. jacobs used it in a book to describe himself. i think it was essentially an autobiography called a compassionate conservative but it was george bush, who took that term which was sort of in the air, marvin oleski had written about compassionate conservatism too and turned it into the creed of his campaign in 2000 also his administration. i don't think myself that it is terribly coherent idea. as david frum said a long time ago it was his attempt to combine the left favorites adjective in the right's favorite noun, compassionate conservatism. but it doesn't amount to really a genuine school of thought within conservatism. i think it was more of a political gimmick than anything else. it is not that conservatives
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aren't compassionate. it is simply that compassion is strictly speaking not a virtue. compassion is passion in the form of dealing with or having sympathy for others but it doesn't answer the most important question, which is whether, why or to what extent others deserve your sympathy. what could obviously make a distinction between an innocent man suffering and someone who was a mass murderer suffering a punishment by the law, let us say. one shouldn't feel compassion equally in those cases if at all in the second case. and in particular i think it was a mistake to believe that compassion would be, should be a passion that moves the government itself. george bush famously said once that, when people are suffering, government has to move. that i think is too indiscriminate.
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the purpose of government is to do justice more than it is to render compassion to people, so for example the many beautiful speeches denouncing slavery, abraham lincoln does well on the compassion or the suffering of the slave's purse way-- per se. that is really the virtue that government is concerned with. rectifying injustice to the extent possible. >> host: in the current edition of "the claremont review of books" you have a review of the book, the antidote to obama carries the title of the article. >> guest: well, it is a brilliant indictment of obamacare, and it is to be followed by a sequel, the top 10 list of obamacare which gregory will be issuing later this year or early next year but the full disclosure, sally pipes is my wife.
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[laughter] >> host: she had a good review. [laughter] >> guest: her writing is an obligation of mine to recognize so i'm recognizing what is truly there. >> host: the next call for charles kesler, philadelphia. >> caller: hello mr. kesler. how are you? >> guest: very fine, thank you >> caller: i have had discussions with people who finally admit that they are conservatives and i yet have had ones to admit that segregation for example was a conservative philosophy rooted in let's say property rights and rights of free association and the governments need to enforce those rights and attitudes. would you not to say, would you
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be able to admit or define where segregation fit in the conservative philosophy? >> guest: well, no. i would say segregation is very nearly the opposite of the conservative philosophy actually. i mean, segregation was after all historically an invention of southern democrats, who were sore losers in the civil war and wanted to repress and suppress blacks and their legitimate exercise of their newfound constitutional right and their inherent natural rights. and they couldn't reinstitute slavery but they could do the next best thing which was jim crow and the whole regime of segregation. in saying that segregation is done in the name of property rights is again-- there is a little truth to that but it is a partial truth, because every
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human being has a right in his own, to his own property and they write indeed to his own freedom as part of his property, to his own individual identity, and segregation, slavery was even more so a suppression of the right of property on the part of black human beings. now it is true that in the late 50s and 60s, specially after brown v. board of education that we did find some conservative politicians and some conservative theorist not exact way supporting segregation , because very few did that but objecting to the attempt by the supreme court in brown and subsequent attempts by the congress and the civil rights act to remedy segregation on the grounds that it was a states right issue, which would require something like a constitutional amendment to
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remedy. i think they were mistaken in their reading of the constitution on that but by and large conservatism and certainly in its principles as far as conservatism is and ought to be opposed to something like segregation. >> host: have you been following the debate and controversy up at the hastings school of law in san francisco about the christian group that wanted to form a campus association, but they are not allowed to or they are not being allowed to at this point? >> guest: i am not familiar with the details of it. it sounds like a category of provocation that has happened here but there are other examples of it. it is the same thing happening on other campuses so i'm not familiar with the details of the hastings case. >> host: what are you currently reading? >> guest: i am currently reading a brilliant book on the welfare state a friend of mine
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and an editor. america's limitless welfare state and it is really the best book, american welfare state since charles barry's losing ground back in the 1980s. is published by counter books, and it is not only superbly written but it is fresh, interesting, challenging and i think it will get a lot of attention and it certainly deserved to get a lot of attention. >> host: the last call for charles kesler comes from san diego. san diego is gone. i apologize for that. i should have been looking at my screen a little closer. our guest is the editor of this claremont review of books. his name is charles kesler. people are interested what is the best web site for them to go to? >> guest: they should go to this web site,
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and they can subscribe to that web site, and they can also see samples, well, in the archives every previous issue in sample of current issues. >> host: charles kesler thank you so much for being on book tv. >> guest: my pleasure. >> host: that is the end of our five and a half hours of live coverage at the festival of books. you can still see the crowds are still quite big. everything we have done today will be reared. this entire coverage we have had today will re-air beginning at 11:00 p.m. eastern time, 8:00 p.m. pms this-- pacific time and i want to let you know tomorrow we have four more call-in programs, former opportunities for you to talk to others. we are going to kick off the southern california's tammy bruce the radio talk show host and author and that will kick


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